Architects plan swimming pool on London river


Plans for a floating swimming pool in the middle of the River Thames in London have been put forward by the UK architect firm Studio Octopi.

Purification specialists from Germany – which has the highest water cleanliness standards in Europe – have designed a system which could make the $15 million project a reality.

Tim Evans, director of British swimming pool design firm Gartenart said the water – unheated and chlorine-free – will be “as clean as anything you would find in a mountain lake”.


The river has been cleaned up in recent decades – but half-a-century ago it was considered too polluted for fish to survive.

The projected Thames Baths at Temple Stairs on the Embankment will have changing rooms, a ramp leading from the shore to the water, a plunge pool and a children’s paddling area, while a glass barrier will protect swimmers from waves

It will be surrounded by reed beds to filter water from the river before it is pumped into the main pool, with a secondary filtration device underneath the poolside decking.

Health concerns have been raised about the project because of sewage overflows during heavy rain and the experience of comedian David Walliams, who suffered a stomach upset during a charity swim in 2011.

Chris Romer-Lee, of Studio Octopi said he hoped an initial $450,000 to cover consultancy costs and other fees would be raised by crowd-funding, where members of the public can contribute to community schemes.

If planning permission is granted, the pool could open late next year.

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