A new attraction in London, UK, gives visitors a place to swim, relax and experience nature. The King's Cross Pond Club is said to be the UK's first ever public swimming pond. It is a natural, chemical-free pool with green landscaping dropped into the urban area of King's Cross.
London appears to be undergoing somewhat of a spike in interest in natural and open-air swimming facilities. Only recently, a project seeking to open swimming pools in the River Thames hit Kickstarter and has since exceeded its crowdfunding goal. Like the Thames Baths Project concept, the King's Cross Pond Club brings together nature and leisure.
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Designed by Ooze Architects and artist Marjetica Potrč, the new addition to the Lewis Cubitt Park and Square area of King's Cross is actually an installation as part of the King’s Cross Arts Programme. Entitled "Of Soil and Water: King's Cross Pond Club," it's aimed at enhancing the local area through community engagement.
"The project is an attempt to capture the dynamicity conveyed by the changes within the area, a moment in time where new possibilities and possible futures arise," explains Eva Pfannes of Ooze Architects. "In this particular project, the juxtaposition of something so natural in an urban environment was a very important idea for us. It is meant to look unpolished and to evolve as the seasons change."
The pond itself measures 40 x 10 m (131 x 33 ft) and is surrounded by landscaping that includes pioneer plants, wild flowers grasses, and bushes. Wetland and submerged water plants, meanwhile, filter the water to keep it clean and clear. There are changing facilities, a viewing area and lifeguards to ensure the safety of swimmers.
The pond is being run by Fusion Lifestyle, a charity that seeks to provide affordable and accessible sports and leisure facilities to communities. There are a limited number of tickets available each day, but it is open on weekdays from 6 am until dusk and at weekends from 8 am until dusk. Ticket prices range from £3.50 (about US$5) off-peak to £6.50 during peak times.
The facility opened on May 22 and is expected to remain open for up to 2 years.
Source: King's Cross Pond ClubView gallery - 11 images