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Schwimmhalle Pankow

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It seems like nobody likes to go swimming anymore these days. Or at least one gets that impression when looking at the amount of abandoned swimming pools Berlin has. The city has no money to repair them – and despite the historic and architectural value, most of them remain closed for the foreseeable future. It would be foolish to think that the fate of 1970s Public Pool would be any different – and it is. The Schwimmhalle Pankow, closed 12 years ago will most likely never open again.


Berlin, Pankow, Schwimmhalle, Hallenbad

The Schwimmhalle Pankow- an abandoned swimming pool – was built in 1971 as an addition to the Freibad Pankow, an open air – summer public pool (like the abandoned Wernerbad in Mahlsdorf), to provide the residents with a possibility to go swimming all year around.
Designed by the architect Gunther Derdau, the pool was built as a prototype and model for several other public pools in Berlin. It was equpied with a modern water filtration system (not all too common at the time) and a energy saving appliances.
The roof was constructed out of prestressed concrete – in a so-called VT Fold (making it look wavy). This form enabled the roof to be extremely durable and thin, and was used in multiple East German buildings.

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The swimming pool had a dimension of 25 x 12.5 meters and a continuous water depth of 1.80 m. It offered 5 lanes, and was even accessible for old and/or disabled people through a staircase.  At the end of the pool was a 12 x 8.5 meter large non-swimmers pool which had its own water treatment plant which could adjust the water temperature in relatively short time.  In addition of having 2 pools, the building housed a modest Sauna in the cellar.

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The Schwimmhalle has recently (2013) come under an arson attack so it is in terrible shape. Some idiots smashed the glass front windows and everything inside, ending their destructive spree by setting fire to the basement. Right next to the Pankow Schwimmhalle is the Sommerbad Pankow  – Berlins largest outdoor swimming complex with a size of 80,000sqm. The city invested in its refurbishment – and it seems like this had a positive effect  for the future of the Schwimmhalle Pankow. Instead of investing the money in refurbishing the abandoned pool, it seems like they are talking about tearing the entire thing down and building a new one. It was estimated that this would cost between 20 and 40 Million euros and would take 3 years to build. As of 2016 it seems like a solution has been found. An official proposal has been submitted which would ensure that Pankow would get a new Swimming complex by 2020. The new plans would combine the Sommerbad and the Schwimmhalle Pankow as a “Multifunctional Swimming Complex”  ensuring that it could open 365 days a year. Only time will tell if these plans will ever be implemented.
Schwimmhalle Pankow
Adress: Wolfshagener Straße 91
13187 Berlin ‎- Pankow
Public Transport: Take the S1, S2, S8, S9 S-Bahn or the U2 U-Bahn to the Pankow Station. From there its just a short walk to the Schwimmhalle.

Digital Cosmonaut

7 comments

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  • Lovely pics & history – as always. I love getting a look at all these abandoned places, but hate that so many are under attack by pure vandals. Thanks for capturing it as it stands now.

  • WOW – sehr beeindruckende Bilder.

    Irgendwie jedoch ein Spiegelbild unserer Zeit, die einen auch etwas traurig machen kann, wenn man sich betrachtet, wieviele öffentliche Einrichtungen aus Geldmangel einfach verfallen. Besonders in Berlin finden sich offenbar mehr wie genügend solcher Beispiele.

    Deine Fotos stellen diese Tatsache wirklich gut in den Betrachtungswinkel und sollten vielleicht mal bei der nächsten Bundestagsentscheidung, wenn wieder “Bankenrettungspakete” beschlossen werden, als Fotoslideshow gezeigt werden. Vielleicht fällt es dem einen oder anderen ja dann auf, dass man das Geld in unserem Land durchaus auch verwenden könnte.

    Viele Grüße und weiter so.

  • Very impressive pics. Thanks for posting them. Taking pictures of old urban places is one of my favorites.

  • awesome pics, and stories! thanks for sharing

  • ich hab da schwimmen gelernt und trainierte dort im verein bis 1990. tut echt weh, wenn ich das sehe.

  • Sehr bewegend. Vielen Dank für die Bilder und die Dokumentation. Auch ich habe in der Schwimmhalle Pankow ab 1976 im Verein trainiert. Es macht ziemlich sprachlos, daß die Halle jetzt verfällt, wo sie die DDR-Zeit gut überstanden hatte. Der Vandalismus ist mir auch unbegreiflich.