The Elephant (or lack of Elephant)

The Architects' Jounal Information Library, 25th May 1966

These images are of the original swimming baths, designed by Arthur Ling and Terence Gregory. Although its not the Elephant building, I thought they were pretty interesting.

The Elephant building was built later in 1976, designed by the Coventry City Council Architecture Department again (althought the chief designer seems to be lost information). At the time, Cllr Arthur Waugh Junior was Chairman of Leisure. As you mentioned Hannah, the building became known as "Arthur's Folly".

There is really not much documentation of the elephant extention.

It seems that the reception of the building was mixed, and to this day opinion is greatly divided. I think this is due to its design; it's whimsical representation doesn't sit well with the monolithic, modernist aesthetic. This juxtaposition has made it very hard to accept by the people of Coventry. Also, it may be that this is why there is so little record of the building's history, as people have found it hard to form static, singular opinions.


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