Former swimming pool loved by the citizens of Roubaix, La Piscine of Roubaix is now home to the André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry.
From Municipal Pool to Museum of Art and Industry
Built by the architect Alber Baert, between 1927 and 1932, the swimming pool was built following the structure of an abbey (4 wings around an interior garden, like a cloister). Very modern for its time, the interior boasts a decidedly Art Deco aesthetic.
In 1985, after 50 years of use, the fragile structure of the dome roof was a threatening safety hazard and forced the pool to close, much to the dismay of its users.
16 years later, a fully restored La Piscine reopened its doors, but this time, as a museum.
The central pool: symbolic place of La Piscine
At La Piscine, the great brick wall that forms the entrance is that of the former textile company Hannart-Prouvost. With these remains, the museum reflects the industrial nature of the city.
Today the central pool is now a thin layer of water, a tribute to the original use of the building. The area is complimented by the Sandier gate and the radiant stained glass window symbolising the sun: a stunning restoration.
Admire the sculptures on either side of the water feature. It boasts a collection that includes four statues by Alfred Boucher (Hope, Faith, Charity and Tenderness). The venue also hosts exhibitions, performances and fashion shows.
All around the pool, the old shower cabins have been converted into display cases. Examine the wonderful items of ceramic art shown including vases and figurines made by the Manufacture de Sèvres porcelain factory in Paris, and works by Picasso and Fernand Léger.
On the first floor, discover a collection of textiles spanning from ancient history to modern times, as well as various accessories.
An interior garden and a colourful collection of Beaux-Arts
Discover the other rooms in the surrounding hallways of La Piscine.
Start with the interior garden, which takes inspiration from an abbey cloister and houses a botanic garden filled with textile plants.
In the former bathrooms scattered around, admire a collection of Beaux-Arts paintings dated from the 19th and 20th Centuries.
The museum also showcases collections of contemporary art, fashion and design (Stark, Gavoille, Garouste and Bonelli...) and hosts around 15 temporary exhibitions each year.
La Piscine-Musée d'Art et d'Industrie
23 Rue de l'Espérance