Peckham plunges into the past with planned outdoor pool

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Peckham Rye Lido will have an Olympic-size heated pool and a separate natural pool with water possibly sourced from the subterranean River Peck(Credit: Studio Octopi + Picture Plane)

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Peckham, in south-east London, used to have its own outdoor swimming pool, but it was closed in 1987 and all that remains visible is a crumbling fountain. Now, though, the firm behind the Thames Baths project is involved in plans to reopen the facility as Peckham Rye Lido.

Studio Octopi won an invited competition to design the new lido in January 2015. It is now working with Ben Lloyd-Ennals and Jim Glynn, who were behind an initial petition to reopen the lido and are running the ongoing campaign.

Whereas the Thames Baths project would see open air pools in the River Thames, the Peckham Rye Lido would see purpose-built open-air pools in parkland. In this sense, the project is more similar to that of the King's Cross Pond Club open-air swimming pool.

According to the recently launched crowdfunding campaign for the lido, the plan is not to simply make a replica of the original. Instead, it will reportedly "be a mix of old and new – with a nod to the past, while also embracing the modern trends of urban and 'wild' swimming."

Located on the same site as the original lido, the new facility is designed to be an all-year-round facility. It will have an Olympic-size heated pool and a separate natural pool with water possibly sourced from the subterranean River Peck. The latter will be built as part of a second phase. In addition, there will be an outdoor cinema with amphitheater seating, rooftop sunbathing areas, a restaurant, a gym and yoga and dance studio and a function room for hire.

The crowdfunding campaign for the Peckham Rye Lido was launched on Spacehive last week to raise money for the next stage of development and for planning applications.

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