Berlin’s rat baths: inside the ruined swimming palace Blub

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Berlin's rat baths: inside the ruined swimming palace Blub
Photo © Ciarán Fahey/Abandoned Berlin
Berlin's rat baths: inside the ruined swimming palace Blub
Photo © Ciarán Fahey/Abandoned Berlin

No expense was spared in making Blub, a huge swimming pool complex, one of West Berlin’s most popular public amenities. But the latest investment will ensure it’s a strictly private affair. Abandoned to rats and graffiti since its closure in 2005, the atmospherically derelict Blub is to be torn down this year for 450 luxury apartments by the imaginatively named H-Group, a consortium of Munich-based investors. The new buildings will apparently feature “modern, inviting architecture for a wide variety of housing and living models” and spacious green areas to ensure “unique and premium open spaces for the future residents”.

It all means that Blub, short for Berliner Luft und Badeparadies (Berlin Air and Bathing Paradise), will have come full circle since it first opened in Britz beside the Teltow canal in February of 1985. There were hot whirlpools, geysers, fountains, waterslides – including a 120m “Great Slide” – a whitewater canal, a sauna garden, a kids water playground and a gym. And in case things weren’t crazy enough already, a “Crazy River” was added later. ….

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