In what is claimed as a world first, a new development in London, UK, will feature a 35-m (115-ft) high suspended swimming pool that bridges two buildings. The so-called "sky pool" will be part of the Ballymore-developed Embassy Gardens, and will allow residents to don their swimwear and butterfly over to visit neighbors.
Embassy Gardens will be located near to the new US Embassy in the Nine Elms area of London, for which a crowdsourced competition for a new bridge over the River Thames is also ongoing. Chairman and CEO of Ballymore Group Sean Mulryan says that the pool stretches the possibilities of design.
"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," says Mulryan. "The sky pool’s transparent structure is the result of significant advancements in technologies over the last decade."
Indeed, the 20-cm (7.8-in) thick glass structure is all there is to the pool. Measuring 25 m (82 ft) long, 5 m (16 ft) wide and 3 m (10 ft) deep, it will span the two buildings at the 10th storey containing water at a depth of 1.2 m (3.9 ft) without any additional frame or support.
The pool, designed by Arup Associates, Eckersley O’Callaghan and aquarium designers Reynolds, will be accompanied by a "sky deck" at the top of the two buildings. The deck will feature a spa, a bar and an orangery, as well as offering views of the surrounding areas that take in the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.
Ballymore says Embassy Gardens is inspired by the buildings of New York's Meatpacking District, with floor-to-ceiling windows and brick façades. It will offer 2,600,000 sq ft (242,000 sq m) of mixed use space that will incorporate nearly 2,000 new homes, a 100-bed hotel, offices, retail and leisure spaces, a grocery store and flexible work and community spaces. Also planned are landscaped gardens and a riverfront walkway from Embassy Gardens to Battersea Park.
The buildings that the pool link are part of the second phase of the Embassy Gardens development and are expected to be made available to the market in September.