Public swimming pools in Australia





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


In Australia the image of sporting prowess and easy access to swimming venues — both natural and artificial — has ensured that public swimming pools became a site of modern architectural interest and design experimentation from the 1930s onwards. Ranging from prosaic, local amenities to award-winning significant complexes, public pools are fascinating and potent places of individual and community memories and experiences. Many still exist but many others have been lost or detrimentally altered in the last two decades. As a modern type they deserve further documentation and careful conservation and adaptation to suit contemporary use.

How to Cite

Lewi, H. (2019). Public swimming pools in Australia. Docomomo Journal, (60), 8–15.




Author Biography

Hannah Lewi, University of Melbourne

Professor of Architecture at the University of Melbourne. She is the vicechair of docomomo Australia and a member of the ISC on Landscapes & Urbanism. She is the co-editor (with P. Goad) of the book Australia Modern: Architecture, Landscape and Design, Thames & Hudson, 2019. She has had a long-standing interest in researching modern swimming pools and public community buildings of the 20th century, and was advisor to the Australian Pavilion exhibition “The Pool”, Venice Biennale, 2016.


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