The renovated roof of the Georges-Vallerey swimming pool in Paris, Source: Ville de Paris / Clement Dorval

Paris heritage swimming pool roof is upcycled into new furniture

Paris heritage swimming pool roof is upcycled into new furniture

It was where legendary swimmer Johnny Weismuller showed off his style 99 years ago

Paris is frantically preparing for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games, which will also be a centennial celebration of the 1924 Olympiad, likewise hosted by the French capital back in the day. This time around modern sustainability standards are applied in the process of preparation.

The local Georges-Vallerey swimming pool is quite a distinguished piece of sports heritage (having been also used as a venue in the 1924 event). Still, as with most things, it is prone to the impact of time and needs to be renovated. Key in that renovation is the installation of a new wooden frame and a new opening roof for the 50-m Olympic pool.

However, the old wooden frame won’t just go to waste. Instead, the planners aim to reuse it and upcycle it by fashioning out new furniture and signs from it. The furniture will be placed at the swimming complex itself.

Re-usage in the heritage context

The Georges-Vallerey swimming pool, located in the 20th arrondissement, welcomed the swimming competitions in that previous Olympiad. In fact, it was where the legendary swimmer and Hollywood actor Johnny Weismuller (of Tarzan fame) won two gold medals.

The organizer promised that 90% of the construction waste generated from the renovation will be reused or recycled in some way or another. There is a special clause with the renovation company obliging it to carefully dismantle the roof beams and remove the metal parts from them.

Another company, Bonnardel, located in Seine-et-Marne, will manufacture the new furniture: the reception counter for the swimming pool, but also the benches, not to mention furniture for the swimmers' shoe removal area and nearly 1,400 small pieces of signage for the renovated venue.

Part of the frame (6 cubic meters of wood) was donated by the City to a “solidarity carpentry” association, located in the 20th arrondissement, which specializes in the reuse of materials, including wood. The City Council will also recover some of the wood for the workshops of the Department of Youth and Sports.

And the new frame? It will come from eco-certified French forests, of course. That way, every aspect of the chain can be imbued with a sustainable provenance.



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