For pools frequenters, the opening of a new structure is always a celebration because even if that big blue stain, smooth, controlled and flat will never be as beautiful as the sea, it’s for sure a great source of pleasure. Then if the pool in question is a glorious structure of the thirties, the pleasure is doubled because being conscious of the potential loss makes it appear even more precious. We would like to introduce our viewers to a very special project that will reopen its doors to the public tomorrow. We are talking about the restoration of one of the most famous public swimming pools in town: la piscina Caimi di Milan’s Via Carlo Botta.
Behind this long-awaited reopening, there is the strong will and tenacious work of one of the Milanese cultural life ladies: the president of the Pier Lombardo Foundation, Andrée Ruth Shammah who managed to organize a successful fund raising around this project. This swimming pool that you see behind us was originally opened to the public in 1939 as a municipal summer facility and was designed by Ing.Luigi Lorenzo Secchi.
He was placed in charge by the Fascist administration at the time to modernize the city imagery to follow along the lines of that of the great metropolitan cities of that period. This big complex was conceived as a multifunction space with a fencing gym, boxing area, a medical office, library and it even had its own print shop. The big pool 50 meters long and 4 meters deep along with the smaller one shaped as a semicircle, an arcade, along with a building of 1800 square meters with large terrace and solarium, a tennis court with garden and a theater.
The theater, in fact, is the co-star of this project because the Franco Parenti Theater, a very well known theater to the Milanese public which is connected to the pool, has taken the complex management from the Municipality of Milan and realized the fund raising which made possible the redevelopment.
But let’s spend a couple of words about the complex: as we said before it is part of the Fascist project of the organization of free time for workers. In 1923 in Italy the working hours had been reduced to 8 hours and sport and entertainment became means for the Fascist government propaganda.
Hence, the need to overcome the Italian public architectural sector building new structures to satisfy the new popular needs. Of this period are in fact the San Siro stadium, the Trotter and Vigorelli velodrome.
The initial project included the construction of a dozen plants of which only a few have been built but that still form an important part of Milan’s public swimming pools. The ones that were actually built are still operating today and they doubtless show their rationalist style typical of the time.
The Caimi pool is no exception but the typical austere lines of fascist architecture are softened by the Liberty statue that stands intact at the center of the semicircle pool, giving the whole a lighter and playful appearance. Just for you to know: The purification of the pool water is done through the use of ultraviolet rays, one of the most advanced methods for the environment and bathers health protection, which does not irritate the eyes and mucous membranes, nor does it dry the skin and your precious tan will not fade away.
Besides that since the Caimi pool has always been considered one of the coldest swimming pool in Milan being directly fed by groundwater, it’s now equipped with solar panels for the water heating !!!!!
Don’t be scared to jump in…
Fondazione PierLombardo Caimi Pool website: link here
This is the video for the campaign to fund the restructuring of the pool with the actor Filippo Time (in italian)