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.

Natural Pools UK Ellicar Gardens

Natural Pools UK Ellicar Gardens: private garden pool

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.

GASCHurn prize

Mountain-Beach Gaschurn, Austria: public pool scheme

“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. or

4 Responses to “First public natural swimming pool to open at King’s Cross”

  1. Charlotte


  2. charlie

    wonderful idea! shame though that we couldn’t get a british company to do it such as ‘clear water revival’ … more of the same please!

  3. Armorel Weston

    Can we have one in Crystal Palace Park as part of the regeneration!
    It would be a dream come true as I am allergic to chlorinate water and LOVE swimming.

  4. Rhiannon

    Good idea, hopefully this will be the start of a trend . .

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