When approached by one of the oldest private clubs in downtown Los Angeles to renovate their 1920s natatorium, we jumped at the chance to take on such a unique project. To reverse the “re-muddling” of past decades, we turned to archival photographs of the original pool. We replaced mismatched 1960s wall tile with mosaic tile color-matched to the original tile. We replaced standard issue steel doors with deco-inspired ones and restored and replicated original brass fittings.
One of the biggest challenges was bringing more light to this dimly-lit interior space. Replacing the 1960s light fixtures above the pool would distract swimmers. Instead, we added indirect cove lighting to the existing coffered ceiling, bathing the pool area in warm, soft light. Along the side aisles of the pool, we specified lighting fixtures which closely resembled the original 1920s fixtures. We installed back-lit light wells in the long-ago-covered windows with new grilles to match the doors. With these subtle improvements, a formerly dark and uninviting space now encourages club members to take the plunge.