WP_20141125_16_37_04_ProLa Piscine otherwise known as the  Musée d’Art et d’Industrie André Diligent or Le musée d’Art et d’Industrie de la ville de Roubaix (let’s stick with La Piscine), is a wonderful reinvention of an Art Deco Swimming Pool in Roubaix, northern France as an art gallery and museum. I had the great pleasure of visiting it recently whilst on a long weekend in the area.

The Museum itself with its clever conversion retaining hints of the building’s previous use was a  delight- I loved the central pool with fountain head surrounded by a new, beautifully finished dark wooden floor, together with the regular playing of a soundtrack from a swimming pool! It also holds a wonderfully rich mixture of items on display- sculpture, paintings, textiles, photographs, glass and ceramics etc.- many displayed in what were once the changing cubicles of the swimming pool!

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The swimming pool was constructed between 1927 and 1932 but closed in 1985, and was then remodelled as a museum, opening in 2000. A modern entrance building, special exhibition space and garden were constructed within the roof-less shell of an adjoining textile factory.

The museum’s permanent collection has its origins in 1835, when a collection of fabric samples from the many local textile factories was started. The collection was seen as a way of cultivating the tastes of the town’s workers, foremen and manufacturers. To this end it combined elements of literature, fine-arts, science and industrial products. The museum previously housing the collection closed with the onset of War in 1939, and never reopened. From 1990 the collections were displayed in Roubaix’s town hall, in preparation for the opening of La Piscine in 2000.

Old School Gardener

Further Information:  Museum Website