Ideas, inspiration and the latest stories about our work.

It all went swimmingly

This week saw the main installation of a new interpretation plan at Saltdean Lido, an iconic 1930’s modernist swimming pool complete with entertainment venue, ballroom, library, flexible offices, café, gym and multi-use community spaces.

Setting the scene
Our team arrived early in the morning to begin the installation with themed and informative graphic wallpaper. Large format graphics form the backdrop to this display creating drama and setting the scene for the other elements of this mixed media exhibition. The wall dressings help to tell the story, bring colour and interest to a large area and knit the overall scheme together. Jim and Shane of Big Stuff, did a fine job of applying the graphics perfectly with matched overlaps and careful/sensitive edge trimming to create a seamless finish.

saltdean lido
saltdean lido
saltdean lido


Mannequin magic
In the main corridor we had fun with our two display mannequins – affectionately names Frank and Betty (ring any bells?) during their time in our design studio. The two were prepared behind the scenes, dressed in authentic 1930’s swimwear. As they made their way into the corridor ready to enter their purpose-built display case, they attracted much attention, wonder and many smiles from the visiting public. A sure sign that this physical display piece will be a hit with the sunbathers, swimmers and diners that will be frequenting the Lido this summer and well into the future.

Bowl me over
Beside the mannequin display is another curiosity: a life-sized replica of an ancient bowl or urn discovered wedged in the nearby cliff has been recreated using the very modern technique of digital printing. Hand finished by a skilled curator, the bowl is a perfect impersonator of the original, sited at Brighton Museum, and a nice touch for the Lido reception area.

Lighting up the room
A large backlit panel is the ideal method for presenting one the few large format images of the pool from the 1930s. It has been artfully colourised to highlight the Lido’s signature colour, teal, a popular shade that featured everywhere during this period. The colouring brings the photo to life and makes an impactful statement as visitors enter the building.


Saltdean Lido


Listening in
One of the core pieces of interpretation is an audio point, relating true stories of Saltdean past, spoken by residents and former employees. This brings a true note of authenticity and humanity to the display. Especially housed in a piece of antiquity – the original chlorine gas dispenser from the pool pump room. A charming and eye catching piece, it’s a great opportunity to preserve a piece of the past with a new purpose.

Touching stuff
The pièce de resistance is a large portrait-mounted touchscreen. This significant installation is an exhibition in itself featuring the history of the site, from prehistoric to present day. A colourful, content-packed display, it has a user friendly interface with an additional accessible menu especially for wheelchair users to ensure that everyone can enjoy the full delights of the Saltdean Lido story. It’s worth spending 20 minutes browsing this feature-rich piece which incorporates pop ups, ‘secrets’, slideshows and video. A true multi-media experience.

Visiting time
So, why not make your way down to the south coast where just past Brighton you’ll discover the embracing curve of Saltdean Lido facing the shoreline. Not only is it a wonderful testament to British architectural heritage, but it is a beautifully restored community hub – now with the added feature of historic interpretation. Take a swim, have lunch and don’t forget to explore the new exhibition.

More to come
And there’s one more piece to follow in due course, so look out for an update later in the summer!


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