As the the last vestiges of summer are upon us, the residents of one French region can still squeeze out a little summer fun thanks to French artist Benedetto Bufalino. The artist, who is known for converting old automobiles into fun and functional objects, has recently presented the northern French region of Artois with a new public swimming pool, converted out of an old bus. Accommodating up to ten swimmers at a time, The Bus Pool offers locals a respite from late summer heat.
The installation is part of a local program, “operation odyssey”, which hosts various events throughout the summer to attract visitors to the area of the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, an UNESCO World Heritage site. The pool was unveiled in late August and will be installed in three local towns until it finds a permanent home.
Adding to his portfolio of transforming discarded vehicles into something fun and useful, the artist salvaged an old Tadeo model bus from the local transport graveyard. Once he completely gutted the interior seats and flooring, the next step was removing an entire side panel. Tipping it over onto its side, he then retrofitted the interior body of the bus with a custom shell so that it would be able to hold water.
The finished product is a colorful swimming pool that measures almost 30 feet long and almost 8 feet wide. The pool holds up to 10 swimmers at a time and even boats a lifeguard station at one end. Water temps are kept at around 82 degrees at the swimming pool.
The Bus Pool is the latest addition to Bufalino’s long portfolio of public art installations. In 2016, the French artist turned an old cement truck into a giant disco ball.
Drone photography by Romain Hayem