Growing up in Edinburgh, Soo Burnell quickly found inspiration in all the iconic buildings around her. However, she became most fascinated by the city’s old swimming pools, by the serenity that hangs in the air there and by the beauty of the architecture. Having expertly photographed just about every pool in Edinburgh, she turned her camera to other historic bathhouses in Britain and Europe. In 2021, that led to the remarkable photo book To the Water. Oh, and she also has a thing for old cinemas.
Soo Burnell aspires to do more than merely highlight the architectural merits of old swimming pools. In her work, she is equally keen to portray the stillness and sense of tranquillity that attracts her to them. There are obviously several Victorian gems in the series, but there is also room for the brand-new London Aquatics Centre by world-class architect Zaha Hadid, for a beautiful Turkish pool in Harrogate, and even for the impressive concrete swimming pool structure in Bagneux, France.