The Georges-Vallerey swimming pool (in the 20th arrondissement), named on its creation the “Tourelles swimming stadium”, was specially built for the 1924 Olympic Games. It has been the location for various sporting achievements, including the Olympics records set by Johnny Weissmuller (who went onto play Tarzan in film) in the 100 metres and 400 metre events. In 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to allow the Olympic rings to be fixed to the façade, making it possible to value this Parisian Olympic heritage.
For the 2024 Paris Games, it will get a makeover. The project, under the management of the City of Paris, includes the complete renovation of the building and its facilities in order to allow for athlete training during the event.
On the architectural level, this building is a true feat. The pool, located on the first floor, is covered with an imposing glass roof that can be opened to allow outdoor swimming in the summer. For the Games, this glass roof as well as the building façades will be renovated. The programme includes a reorganisation of the space, but also modernisation of the technical installations (water treatment system, air treatment system, lighting, fire safety, etc.). The project aims to improve the building’s energy performance. The project design and the execution of the work will be based on circular economy principles and in particular on the following objectives: low-cost, flexible and modular, as well as minimising the environmental impact of both the work site and the building’s operation.
Furthermore, one of the major objectives of the project is to move towards universal accessibility, by creating an accessible path from the entrance to the pool, which is not currently the case due to slopes in certain parts of the changing rooms. The changing rooms, along with the showers and toilets will also be made accessible.
The project manager will be appointed at the end of September and the works should start during the second quarter of 2021, lasting around 18 months.
During the works, the swimming pool will be partially closed: the pools will be no longer accessible, but the City’s services will still be running (Department for youth and sports for the 20th arrondissement; Department for prevention, security and protection), such as the Comité d’Île-De-France de Natation (Ile-De-France Swimming Committee) and part of the Medical and Psychological centre of the Hôpital Robert Debré. The reopening of the pools is planned for September 2023.
© Gerard Sanz – Ville de Paris