An illuminating swim at Kiphuth Exhibition Pool

March 17, 2022

The University’s historic buildings can be charming reminders of how space was conceived of and used by previous generations of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. These places can also be a reminder that excellence is maintained through practice. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool at the west wing of Payne Whitney Gymnasium is one such space at Yale to receive attention from the Office of Facilities and its construction partners.

Prior to a 2021 update to the locker rooms, wet areas, and corridors that support the pool, some of the finishes, furnishings, and fixtures dated to the early 1930s—when the gymnasium and pool were first constructed. Tarnished tile and well-worn lockers were modernized to match Yale Athletics’ current standard.

Institutional colors from an earlier time—terracotta, pale yellow, earthy orange, minty green—transitioned to a palette of bold blue, bright white, and warm gray. The scuffed surfaces of wood and metal were replaced with fresh materials, even for swimmers who visit from other colleges. As part of this more welcoming reception, athletes now enter and exit the pool from a brightened tunnel that accentuates the grandiose funnel where they swim. Lux et veritas, indeed.

Photos 1–5 by Ronnie Rysz, 6–8, courtsey of the Office of Facilities.