Thames Baths lido project goes live on Kickstarter today

TempleBathsJust imagine how great it would be to swim safely on The River Thames all year round. That’s the vision behind the Thames Baths Project which goes live on Kickstarter this morning.

The brainchild of architect Chris Romer-Lee of Studio Octopi, it’s a scheme that’s been kicking around for a little while now. But today – St George’s Day – it’s hopefully taking a step closer to reality with the first stage of investment via crowdfunding website, Kickstarter. You can see the page here.

In return for pledging money, a tiered membership scheme will offer free swims in the opening year of the lido. The Kickstarter campaign is set to run for 30 days during which it’s hoped it will raise £125,000.

Regular Goggleblog readers will now how supportive I am of the campaign and how The River Thames (which used to have these outdoor pools on the river before the advent of indoor swimming baths) could benefit from a lido in the same way as other big European cities.

What I think is great about The Thames Baths Project is that rather than building another sanitised, overly chlorinated pool they want to create a freshwater pool using filtered water from The Thames and blend it with the natural environment, complete with flora and fauna.

So you really will feel part of nature as you are swimming, at the same time as feeling protected from the tidal flows and shipping.

The latest design is for a floating freshwater pool at Temple Stairs off the Victoria Embankment. which the team reckons can be delivered within two years subject to funding and building permission (they are already in advanced talks with the various authorities concerned).

The design is a floating pontoon which rises and falls with the tide and the pools will be filled with River Thames water filtered through a bespoke filtration system making the water crystal clear. The designs incorporate two pools and a large publicly accessible decked area.

The project. which has the backing of high profile Londoners including artist Tracey Emin and major London cultural institutions such as the Royal Academy of the Arts, was first launched in 2013 as part of the ‘London As It Could Be Now’ programme developed by The Architecture Foundation with architect Lord Rogers and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Says founder Chris Romer-Lee: “Ever since we first sketched out the original concept for Thames Baths, we have always wanted to build something that benefited the community and allowed them to participate in its creation. The latter is one of the reasons why we are launching crowd-funding on Kickstarter. We want Londoners, swimmers and anyone passionate about urban waterways to show their support for this project and what better way than a very public campaign.”

So now’s time to splash the cash in return for being able to splash in The Thames when the project hopefully comes to fruition in a couple of years time.

Temple Baths_Deck ©Studio Octopi & Picture Plane