It was also probably through his brother’s medical connections that, after the loss of the Albert Hall, Sir George Gilbert Scott was given his only opportunity to build an actual dome, although structurally very different from his ideas for the great hall. A gentelmen’s swimming pool, this was in the centre of Brighton between the sea front and the Royal Pavilion, and was an extension to Charles Brill’s indoor sea-water swimming pool for ladies. Scott produced a design in 1866 for a light iron dome, sixty-five feet in diameter, over two levels of arcades, in Scott’s personal style with pointed arches with alternating voussoirs. It was then the largest swimming pool in Europe but the baths eventually lost their popularity, became run-down and in 1929 were demolished to make way for the Savoy cinema. With Scott’s love of domes, it is strange that he fails to mention Brill’s Baths anywhere, particularly in the two lectures on domes that he gave at the Royal Academy in 1872. Perhaps he felt that ‘the noblest of all forms by which a space can be covered’, was inappropriate for a swimming pool.
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert ScottT (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), p. 149.
Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. T(Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), p. 368.
http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__7742_path__0p116p1442p.aspx for illustration.
Scott, G., Sir, Lectures on the Rise and Development of Medieval Architecture delivered at the Royal AcademyT (John Murray, London, 1879), vol. II, pp. 229.