Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Campaign to build open air swimming pool on the Thames gains momentum

thameshero2.jpg

Fancy a dip in the murky Thames? No, us either, mainly because we fear gastrointestinal illness. But what if there was a freshwater pool floating the centre of the city's famous river? 

Londoners may soon be able to enjoy a pollution-free swim in the open water thanks to the Thames Baths Project, a crowdfunding campaign that is looking to raise an initial £300,000 to help build the swimming on the Victoria Embankment.

The proposed 25-metre by 10-metre pool will come with a filtration system, pool-side decking and 4-foot high glass walls to protect swimmers from any high waves. Organisers plan to charge a £4-£6 entry fee similar to local community baths - but minus the chlorine.

Architect Chris Romer-Lee, who works for Studio Octopi, the firm behind the scheme, told The Guardian he wants the pool to appeal to everyone - even non-swimmers.

"The decked areas are open to anyone who wants to come along, so you don’t have to come along just to swim," he said. "It’s really important this doesn’t become another London Eye 25-quid experience. It’s not about that."

"There’s something very wild and liberating being in open water," he added. "I don’t get this so much from swimming inside indoor pools where it’s hot and smelly."

Londoners may soon be able to enjoy open air swimming in the city like these lot in Badeschiff, Berlin

Londoners may soon be able to enjoy open air swimming in the city like these lot in Badeschiff, Berlin

The project, which will ultimately cost £10 million, is modelled on successful open air baths across Europe and New York, the latter successfully hitting its $250,000 (£166,000) crowdfunding target in just six days.

London's pool - which organisers hope to have up and running next year - will be designed to sit "naturally within the river environment, filling and flowing with the water that runs around, beneath and over it."

"I think it’s a European thing and London is late to the party," Romer-Lee added. "I was swimming in a public lake in Zurich on holiday and it was amazing, then I suddenly realised Berlin has got this pool, and Paris has got its variation of it. And Vienna, and New York. So it’s happening all over the world."

Still worried the murky river water might not be clean enough to splash around in? 

Tim Evans, director of swimming pool firm Gartenart, which is working on the project, told The Daily Mail that the water will be "as clean as anything you would find in a mountain lake".

The downside? It's not heated.

Will you join the #BacktheBaths campaign, or stick to the local pool? Tell us your thoughts on the project in the comments section below.

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Thames Baths, Rex Features

Related

149207422.jpg

A bigger splash: dive into 12 of the UK's loveliest lidos

whithaven beach.jpg

Ten of the world's most spectacular beaches

415261_487457634597978_219100667_o.jpg

Romantic and remote cottage escapes under £500 a week

Comments

More

Witches are casting a spell on Donald Trump at midnight tonight

It’s set to be “the largest mass binding spell in history”.

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

This new yoga class is all about the healing power of gin

Empty your mind… and your glass

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Best friends build community of tiny houses so they can live together

Welcome to bestie row…

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Behold Ikea's incredible flat-pack indoor garden

Bring the outdoors in

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

Successful women “give up” on the idea of work-life balance, says CEO

Grace Bonney, founder of DesignSponge, says that the idea of a work-life balance is “not rooted in reality”.

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

Woman becomes internet sensation for documenting life as a third wheel

"Love makes the world go round. Unless you're me."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

First Dates is offering us all free food to sit in the background

Couples and singles can both apply

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

The Netflix gems to binge-watch based on your favourite TV shows

These are the unmissable Netflix TV shows you need to know about...

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Inside Nepal’s forced marriage revolt

When love and tradition collide

by Corinne Redfern
23 Feb 2017

Demi Lovato on her mental health documentary: “I’m bipolar and proud”

The singer opened up about her new mental illness documentary to Ellen DeGeneres.

by Moya Crockett
23 Feb 2017