Empty swimming pools are the stars of Pia Henkel’s No Running series, which was shot in Berlin. The city, where she is based, is home to 62 public pools spanning many different styles and decades. Drawn to the ‘no photography’ signs she spied while swimming – “which only reinforced the need for me to do just that” – Henkel started snapping the pools while free of people. She says it was important to capture the quiet moments of what are usually places of “encounter and movement”.
The images are eerie at times, showing uninhabited changing rooms, mirror-still water and abandoned pool equipment. There’s an underlying question as well, according to Henkel, around whether these spaces will fall victim to rising energy costs and one day be truly empty.