Le Havre Bains des Docks, France

Oh that pool! Oh that weather – we must be close to England. Yes, this is Le Havre’s uber pool by Jean Nouvel. Sorry to say that after years of waiting to go here I was taken aback by the sheer state of it. Up close every surface is mosaic – actually, I retract that – nearly every surface is covered in mosaic. So this is the problem with architecture: no one wants to take any responsibility once the building has been delivered – is the management just sloppy with maintenance? Did they use the wrong materials to construct? Did the architects spec something entirely inappropriate? Whatever, the places is a bit of a shambles. Areas roped off because of the broken glass mosaics. It was so patchy in places it just added to the whole pixel effect. Except dropped pixels are never really a good thing. AND ARCHITECTS when are you going to seriously get your heads around signage and graphics? I nearly fell over when I saw the ‘lettering’ written on the grout, tracked around the tiles in neat 90s type – was actually handwritten in permanent marker. Jeez, you thought you could get away with a pool with no signs? Come on. 

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