It’s an idea that’s been mooted for some time now. I remember the artist Tracey Emin talking about creating swimming pools called ‘The London Ovals’ on the banks of the River Thames a few years back.
But now it’s actually taking a step closer to reality with architects Studio Octopi releasing plans of what a swimming pool in the River Thames could actually look like.
One of the ideas is for a pool near Blackfriars Bridge – close to the proposed super sewer (another super sewer has been planned for Shadwell to the east of the City).
“The improvements in water quality open the possibility for once again swimming in the tidal Thames,” said Chris Romer-Lee of Studio Octopi.
The design looks particularly interesting. The fixed pools would be split across two levels and sit on a concrete slab suspended on a steel frame, with the second adjoining floating structure free to rise and fall with the tide. The idea is that over time the supporting structure would weather and would become a home to fish as well as plants etc.
Currently the project is looking for crowdfunding on the internet to get off the ground, as with a similar project in New York, but I think it would be a great addition to the River Thames. Of course the idea of tidal pools is hardly new but usually they are sea pools as with the Bude Sea Pool (http://www.budeseapool.net/)
Given the 2012 ban on swimming in the tidal part of the The Thames following newspaper columnist Matthew Parris’ foolish attempt to cross the river a few years earlier (see my article here), I think it’s a potentially great compromise for those who want to swim in the open water without risking the hazardous tides. Let us know what you think in the comments below.