The Piscine Molitor, a truly legendary place, was chosen for the Mercedes Media Night on the eve of the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile.
The “Piscine Molitor”, the setting for the Mercedes-Benz Media Night on the eve of the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile, is a truly legendary place. Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmüller, five-time Olympic swimming champion, once worked here as a lifeguard. And the hero of Hollywood blockbuster “Life of Pi” was even named after “the world’s most beautiful swimming pool” – Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel. After a 20-year slumber, the magnificent Art Déco structure was reopened last spring. Mercedes-Benz is there to present the world premiere of the sporting pinnacle of the C-Class line-up – the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 – as well as the new generation of the B-Class. The bestselling compact car comes with a broad spectrum of drive options, including conventional engines and an electric drive with a range of up to 230 kilometres.
Piscine Molitor was first opened in 1929. With the Art Déco facility in the style of an ocean liner, the French capital’s exclusive 16th arrondissement gained not only a swimming pool, but a new social rendezvous. The Molitor was the venue for bathing, flirting and even marrying; besides the 50-metre Olympic summer pool and the indoor winter facility with its 33-metre pool, there was an artificial beach, a restaurant and bar, a “Tabac”, a hair salon, a golf driving range and – in winter – a skating rink.
On 5 July 1946, the Molitor provided the setting for a truly sensational premiere: Louis Réard, a former automotive engineer who had switched to fashion design, presented a completely new kind of bathing suit – the bikini – causing a major scandal in the process.
The glamorous life continued in the Piscine Molitor until 1989, when the swimming pool was forced to close its doors due to structural defects. One year later, the empty complex was categorized as a “monument historique” and placed under a preservation order, thus rescuing it from the threat of demolition. For more than 20 years, the Molitor served as an unofficial studio for graffiti artists, a backdrop for fashion shoots and venue for secret parties and trendy events, until the restoration of the historic facility began in 2011 following a competitive bidding process.
In 2012, Hollywood also created a cinematic monument to the grand old Parisian swimming pool. For the Oscar-winning film adaptation of the novella “Life of Pi” by Canadian author Yann Martel, an almost exact replica of the Molitor was constructed on an airfield in Taiwan. “I was named after a swimming pool,” says lead character Piscine Molitor Patel, known as Pi, in the movie of his story, “the most beautiful swimming pool in the world in Paris”.
Following a reconstruction lasting two-and-a-half years and costing 80 million euros, the Molitor was reopened on 19 May 2017, comprising the two classic pools, a stylish boutique hotel with 124 rooms, a spa, gym and restaurants. By hosting the “Mercedes-Benz Media Night”, the magnificent pool reconnects with its great past as a rendezvous, stage and catwalk.
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