Sky pool for London project

An artist's impression of the upcoming transparent pool (above).
An artist's impression of the upcoming transparent pool (above).PHOTO: EMBASSY GARDENS' FACEBOOK

LONDON • For anyone wishing to make a high-level splash, London's latest planned addition to the skyline could be just the thing.

A swimming pool suspended between two apartment blocks 10 storeys up is part of a new development near the former Battersea power station.

The transparent "sky pool" will, the developer says, be the first of its kind.

Swimmers will be able to look down 35m to the world below as they take a dip, with only 20cm of glass between them and the outside world.

Residents of the buildings, where apartments cost upwards of £602,000 (S$1.3 million), will be able to swim between the two and recover from their exertions on a sky deck which boasts a spa, summer bar and orangery with views of the Houses of Parliament.

The developer Ballymore says the pool, which has been granted planning permission, will be transparent and structure-free.

It says the pool will measure 27m by 5.8m, with a water depth of 1.2m.

It is designed by Arup Associates, with specialist input from aquarium designers Reynolds.

The pool will be part of the Embassy Gardens development at Nine Elms, a huge £15-billion project in south-west London which is creating thousands of homes, many of them in luxury apartment blocks.

There is an indoor pool for the faint-hearted.

Ballymore's chairman and chief executive Sean Mulryan said: "My vision for the sky pool stemmed from a desire to push the boundaries in the capability of construction and engineering. I wanted to do something that had never been done before."

He added: "The experience of the pool will be truly unique - it will feel like floating through the air in central London."

Mr Henry Pryor, a buying agent for wealthy clients, said he thought the plans for the pool were "genuinely crackers" and wondered "are there enough exhibitionists to fill it?"

He said: "It's not easy to say for sure what the extras like pools, tennis courts and home cinemas add to a home but, for the first time, I can say that while my admiration for the architect is close to reverence, this absurd addition must be the biggest mistake I have come across."

Swimming pools, and their location, are used as a selling point for developers toting the latest luxury buildings.

London's skyscraper The Shard boasts the highest pool in western Europe on its 52nd floor.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'Sky pool for London project'. Print Edition | Subscribe