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Lido, New Brighton

Part 1 Project 2007
Jonah Jay
University of Liverpool | UK
The Lido, New Brighton, promotes the enjoyment of open air and space, where calm, balance and order prevail. Two white pavilions face each other across three outdoor pools, enclosed by walls and colonnades. Attempting to purify architecture, it stands chaste, understated, white-walled; preaching moderation. It came, in the words of Whitman: "out of the old and the new, out of the square entirely divine, solid – four sided – all sides needed, modern as any”.
Jonah Jay

Paradoxically, the return of real hand-drawn schemes employs the severest geometry and composition. The arrangement of planes, forms and frames goes back to the earliest moments of modern architecture forsaking the nautical imagery of beaches and pools for a rationalism blending early Mies with Terragni as the more obvious influences. The lido is stripped of all inessential decoration, leaving a rather monastic sexiness for the display of human flesh. A powerful interior hidden behind a numbed perimeter promises Körperkultur maybe even a gymnasium for the mind. This is a brilliant exercise in a refined, somewhat nostalgic, but elegant architectural language.

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