Natural Public Pool: UK Plans Freshwater Swimming Pond

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A freshwater oasis will soon beckon swimmers and sunbathers in the middle of urban London with the King’s Cross swimming pool, a man-made freshwater pond planned for the new Lewis Cubitt Park. Measuring 32 feet wide by 131 feet long, the pool uses aquatic plants rather than chlorine to keep the water clean, and can accommodate over 100 swimmers at a time.

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Designed by Ooze Architects, the chemical-free pool will be a beautiful visual addition to the park as well as a recreation spot and wildlife habitat. It will be the first of its kind in the UK, and will feature shallow pools full of plants adjacent to the swimming area. Built two meters above ground level with salvaged bricks and stones, the pool can be used year-round.

Hard and soft landscaping will include wildflowers, grasses and other plants, so the environment around the pool will change with the seasons. The park, along with the area surrounding it, is currently under construction as part of the redevelopment of King’s Cross. It’s expected to be complete and open for visitors the first week of May.

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“We wanted to explore the concept of water, something which is often hidden away in urban landscapes,” says architect Sylvain Hartenberg. “In this particular project, the juxtaposition of something so natural in an urban environment was a very important idea for us. We have to re-think how we live with the city and with nature.”