From Art Deco summer hangout to ruinous graffiti den, the Piscine Molitor in Paris’ 16th arrondissment has quite a tale to tell — and now the birthplace of the bikini is back in business.
The stylish swimming pool has just reopened after a three-year, US $110 million renovation project, which included a full restoration of the two pools dating back to 1929. The luxury complex also boasts the 124-room Molitor Paris by MGallery hotel, complete with spa and gym.
Between the world wars, this was Paris’ ultimate hangout. The venue became synonymous with fashion shows and star-studded galas, and in 1946, Micheline Bernardini, a dancer from the Casino de Paris, modelled the world’s first bikini here. By the ‘80s, the facility had fallen into decline and was condemned to be levelled and turned into apartments. Thankfully the bulldozers never arrived.
For the best part of two decades the urban oasis became a grungy graffiti den, playing host to illegal raves and other illicit gatherings. An annual Molitor membership costs just over $4,000, or $250 for the day.