Britain's lidos, or public open-air swimming pools, were once far more numerous and popular than they are today. In recent years though, they've come back into fashion to some extent, with several campaigns to re-open or renovate aging lidos proving successful. Riding this wave is the Thames Bath project, which has recently turned to Kickstarter to raise funds toward a new floating open-air swimming pool on the River Thames.
As we previously reported, the concept behind Thames Bath, which is headed by Studio Octopi, is simple. Set for location near Temple Stairs, it comprises a large floating pontoon on the bank of the Thames which rises and falls with the tide. The pontoon will be accessed by stairs and sport a lifeguard tower. There are two main pools within: a 25 m (82 ft) lap pool, and a plunge pool – plus a small paddling pool for kids. The whole project is reminiscent of New York's planned +Pool.
Though a dip in the River Thames might sound like a good idea if you're stuck in the city on a hot summer day, it's actually pretty dirty (a recent law also requires you get prior permission). Therefore, the pools will be filled with water that's first filtered to make it safe for swimming. It'll also be heated, and Studio Octopi mentions renewable energy sources, but when asked, said it preferred not to expand on exactly how this would work.
Studio Octopi is currently raising funds via Kickstarter to help realize its concept. Backers are promised rewards starting from one swimming token to free swimming and a meal with the team, depending on the amount of money pledged. The goal is only £125,000 (about US$187,000), which is sure to be a fraction of the eventual cost of the project, should planning permission and other issues be overcome. It's a long road ahead, but the plan is for it to be constructed within two years.
The pitch video below shows some more information on the project.