First public natural swimming pool to open at King’s Cross
Artist's impression of King's Cross Pond courtesy of Ooze Architects
Work has begun on the UK’s first ever public natural swimming pond, as part of an art project within the King’s Cross Development. The outdoor, chemical-free pool will be completed by the end of the year, when it will be given time to develop naturally, before its scheduled opening in spring 2015.
Natural swimming pools, for private homes or hotels, have been around in the UK since 2008, but the King’s Cross pond with a maximum depth of 2.8m and swimming area of 2282m will be the first for public use, specifically built to accommodate larger numbers of daily swimmers.
Designed by the Austrian Company BIOTOP, the pond will be purified naturally by a specially constructed regeneration zone, filled with aquatic plants to absorb nutrients and oxygenate the water. Recycled materials will be used in the build. The site is likely to attract not just people, but also large varieties of insects and wildlife, which will create habitats within the planted edges around the pond. Built two metres above ground level, in Cubitt Park – one of the largest public spaces- the installation will offer views across King’s Cross and opportunities to reflect on the relationship between the natural and the built environment.
Public natural pools are growing in popularity in Europe and one of BIOTOP’s recent schemes, the Mountain-Beach Gaschurn, was awarded the Austrian State Prize for Tourism.
“A natural pond, as part of an exciting art project, is a first for BIOTOP! We are looking forward to showing Londoners and the UK how a piece of nature in the middle of the city can improve their quality of life, whether that’s in your own garden or within a shared public space such as this,” said Peter Petrich, whose brain-child the natural pond is.