The UK’s first naturally filtered outdoor swimming pool is opening in London this May. The bathing pond will use plants instead of chemicals or machinery to keep the water clean, which will in addition provide habitat for wetland fauna. The pool will operate within a small scale, self-sustaining ecosystem.
At 40-metres long, 10-metres wide, the pool will be able to accommodate 100 bathers at a time. It will be built two meters above ground level, using salvaged bricks and stones to create the basin.
The pool is designed for year-round use, but the number of swimmers allowed per day will be restricted in order to allow the pool time to regenerate. The landscape surrounding the water will include wild flowers, grasses and bushes, meaning that the environment will change as the seasons do.
The project is the UK’s first man-made bathing pond filtered using natural processes and will be 40 Metres long
According to Dezeen, the project, called ‘Of Soil and Water’, is the UK’s first man-made bathing pond filtered using natural processes. Designed by Ooze Architects and artist Marjetica Potrč the project was commissioned as part of the 27-hectare King’s Cross station redevelopment.
Users of the pool will be educated about the pond’s landscape and how the pool operates. Landscaping and pool work—as well as the rest of the redevelopment project—will be ongoing, but visitors will be able to try it out during the first week of May.
According to Dezeen, the project is the latest example of a growing trend for natural bathing. Freshwater pools have also been proposed for other areas of London; Switzerland is already home to one.
“We have to re-think how we live with the city and with nature,” said Potrč in the Dezeen article. “Here, we are collaborating with nature and the artwork encourages the viewer to participate in that experience. Water is a source of life but it is also a metaphor for regeneration.”