The Distant Sound of Dripping Water

Photos of Abandoned Swimming Pools

by Julia Solis


The smell of chlorine tells you that it's safe to enter. Cool sparkling water, shiny floors, all assurances that this intimate space is keeping disease and fungus at bay. Here of course we specialize in the unsanitary, the rampant mildew, the archaeological stains of human existence. Still, few marred surfaces seem quite as dirty as a dirty pool.


Obsolete pools are odd architectural spaces. Freshly drained, a kind of expectancy still hovers around the gleaming cavern. Then the mold sets in. Over time the space becomes a botanical experiment gone horribly wrong, a repository for the discarded, or a bleached canvas for local taggers. One coffin-shaped pool is getting buried in snow from a broken skylight, another is swallowing its surroundings as the plants and lounge chairs creep further towards the deep end. Regardless of what happens, the new installations are pretty much there to stay. These pools will not be drained again.


Here is a brief selection of shots from hotels, hospitals and jails. Don't forget your bathing suit.

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