Building developments along both the north and south banks of the river have become a common sight. For some, it has sparked the imagination of what could be…
The river is fantastic for boating but for most people, not a swimming destination.
Perhaps this is why talks of swimming pool development on the Thames may cause hesitation. On the contrary, visionary engineers and architects are not discouraged by the current state of the Thames. Instead, they are looking to the future and striving to give more Londoners access to the waterfront.
The Evening Standard reported that as part of ‘London As It Could Be Now’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Studio Octopi civil engineers and Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects have unveiled their vision of a reclaimed river front called The Thames Baths Project. The design, intended to be situated next to Blackfriars Bridge, consist of a floating 25m pool and plunge pool within the river itself, with addition pools on platforms overhead.
According to the design concept, the river lever pools will be outlined by rock cages, allowing people to swim in the Thames without being effected by currents or boat’s wakes. The pools located on the elevated platform overhead will be refilled each day at high time with Thames water.
This is not the first time talks of such developments have occurred. Back in 2011, The BBC News reported on conceptual floating parks along the Thames, some of them also featuring swimming pools.
The inspiration for Studio Octopi and Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, however, is the potential forthcoming improvements to London’s sewers. Thames Water has proposed the building of a supersewer that would be completed in 2023 and would leave the river clean enough for leisure use. If this were the case, Londoners could witness history repeating itself. When Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s sewer was completed in 1875, people took to the water and floating baths were opened at Charing Cross.
Co-founder of Studio Octopi, Chris Romer-Lee believes, ‘When the supersewer is completed, the water quality will increase substantially.’
What do you think? Would you be a visitor to The Thames Baths? Perhaps this conceptual design will become a reality in the future. Until then, we will have to leave such a feat to our imaginations!