Monthly Archives: July 2011

Botta Baths and Caimi Swimming Pool, Milan, Italy

by Barbara Sambri, a fish-eye view of the Caimi swimming pool

The Caimi swimming pool, located in Porta Romana quarter and bounded by Carlo Botta, Pier Lombardo, Giorgio Vasari e Lattuada streets, is a historical public bathing establishment, dismissed and totally abandoned since 2006.
Once pride of the area, relavant and outstanding place for Milan citizens since its construction in 1939, unfortunately, it is now a symbol of the Milan urban decay.
Botta Baths are not just a simple swimming pool: besides the antique amphitheater bathtub, the complex accommodates changing rooms, a rooftop solarium, two arbors, one gym and a cinema, everything (all of these) located inside a wooden park, bounded by a masonry fence, and connected with staircases to the swimming pool.
The complex was built in late 30′s, to provide a public structure where people, thanks to a reduction in working hours, could enjoy the new spare time, following the motto “mens sana in corpore sano”.
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The Colossus of Prora, Island of Rügen, Germany

by rhodes, a view of the enormous nazi sea resort in Prora

Three years before the outbreak of WW II, Hitler ordered the construction of what is, until now, the largest concrete building ever build up in Germany, an enormous sea resort along the Baltic coast, also called “The Colossus of Prora”.

This building complex was one of the “Strength through Joy” (Kraft durch Freude or KdF) projects and the first prototype of a massive sea resort, a perfect tool to keep under control masses and, at the same time, spread Nazi propaganda.
In fact, architecture was a fundamental propaganda tool for the Nazis, as they considered monumental buildings to be a reflection of the new German state.
As a part of the Nazi scheme of social engineering, Prora represents the clearest surviving example of the Nazi’s “think big” attitude in regards to architecture.
The complex, roughly 150 m from the beach, extends over a length of 4,5 km and houses 11,463 identical sea-view rooms, arranged in 8 identical six-story blocks of steel-reinforced concrete, each one the length of five football fields (see aerial pictures).
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