The Interwar Years
Bellerive Plage (Bellerive Beach)
The sports and bathing complex at Bellerive-Plage (Bellerive Beach) is one of Lausanne's most beloved leisure complexes, as well as a prime example of functionalist architecture. In addition to its swimming pools, it has a rotunda that contains the entrance hall, a restaurant and a long, curved series of changing rooms. Its architecture, and specifically the use of glass, evokes lightness. The changing rooms take up two levels, one for women and one for men.
The entire complex was built from 1936 to 1937, during a time of economic crisis which coincided with the development of society's contemporary appetite for leisure. The project was part of a plan to counteract unemployment, and for this reason machines were not allowed on the building site, in order to promote job-creation.
The architect was Marc Piccard of Lausanne. He was also responsible for enlarging the site in 1962. A meticulous renovation was carried out in 1993 by the architects Inès Lamunière and Patrick Devanthéry, with careful attention to the historical features.