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Bernard Schoeller, 1929-2020

François Chaslin 
30/06/2020


On 5 April death befell the French architect Bernard Schoeller, known for his work in the studio of the Arsène-Henry brothers, with whom he carried out a lot of social housing as well as the third of the skyscrapers at La Défense in Paris: the 100-meter-tall building now called Tour Blanche. But Schoeller’s career is mostly associated with the Tournesol swimming center, the result of a 1969 competition organized by the French government in hopes of constructing a “thousand pools” from five models. Between 1973 and 1984, nearly 200 were executed following Schoeller’s scheme.

Designed with engineer Thémis Contantinidis, the Tournesol pools are unique in their organic form but also because of the predominant polyster and because of the slices of facade that slide to leave a third of the surface open. An outstanding example of technocratic modernity that remains attractive on account of its vintage air.


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