Felling Swimming Baths

Napper, Errington and Collerton

Designed by local architects Napper, Errington and Collerton and constructed in 1963, the Felling pool preceded the trend for recreational swimming facilities. It was built to full 110 feet (33.3 metres) – competition standard for training of athletes up to Olympic level.

The design adhered to the 1960s dictum, Form follows Function, taking it’s distinctive raked profile from of the stadium sized 1200 capacity spectators’ gallery which is expressed in the elevated wings of the building.  The exposed concrete trusses are characteristic of Brutalist architecture and further express the raked seating. A slender, cantilevered stair on the outside leads to the main entrance, itself a double height concourse in glass and steel.  The form of the pool bares a close resemblance to the 1956 Melbourne Olympic pool.

The pool, which was located at the centre of the Leam Lane Estate in Gateshead and was quietly demolished in 2011 with little publicity.

Images 1-3 courtesy of Napper Architects
Image 4 copyright of authors