UK’s first natural swimming pond can accommodate 163 swimmers a day

Kings Cross natural pool is ready to open

The natural swimming pool on the King’s Cross development site has welcomed its first swimmers and will open to the public shortly.

The pool, which represents part of King’s Cross developer Argent’s commitment to creating art projects on the site, was an idea conceived by Ooze Architects (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) and Marjetica Potrč. B|D Artas-ua.info Architects is the landscape architect for the project and the pool was built by natural pool specialist Biotop and its UK partner Kingcombe Aquacare.

The pool, which has a surface area of 411mis on the site of what will be Lewis Cubitt Park, designed by Townshend Artas-ua.info Architects. There is planning permission for the pool to remain for two years.

The pool is divided into a swimming zone and a regeneration zone, part of which is shallow water planted with a range of plants including Phragmites (common reeds). These would not usually be used for a natural pool because of their vigorous growth, but were deemed suitable for this temporary application where cover was needed quickly. The deep water of the regeneration zone contains a range of other species, including water lilies. Other plants include Elodea Canadensis, Lagorosiphon major (curly waterweed) and Myriophyllum spicatum (water milfoil).

Growth of the plants should accelerate once swimming begins, because they will use the nutrients from visitors’ bodies. But these have to be kept to a manageable level, which is why there will be a limit imposed of just 163 swimmers per day.

The pool is on a landscaped eminence, so that it is not visible from below but offers views of the surroundings. In keeping with its art status, it has been given the name ‘Of soil and water’. In addition to the pool and surrounding landscape, changing cubicles, showers and a viewing platform have been built.

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