Architecture

Thames Bath project hits Kickstarter

The Thames Bath project, by Studio Octopi (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
The Thames Bath project, by Studio Octopi (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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Readers of a certain age may remember a time in which lidos, or public open-air swimming pools, were far more popular in the UK than they are now (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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Readers of a certain age may remember a time in which lidos, or public open-air swimming pools, were far more popular in the UK than they are now (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
As we previously reported, Studio Octopi's concept for Thames Bath is really quite simple (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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As we previously reported, Studio Octopi's concept for Thames Bath is really quite simple (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
The Thames Bath project, by Studio Octopi (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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The Thames Bath project, by Studio Octopi (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
It comprises a large floating pontoon on the bank of the Thames which rises and falls with the tide (Image: Studio Octopi)
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It comprises a large floating pontoon on the bank of the Thames which rises and falls with the tide (Image: Studio Octopi)
It is set for location near Blackfriars Bridge (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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It is set for location near Blackfriars Bridge (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
Architectural drawing of the project (Image: Studio Octopi)
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Architectural drawing of the project (Image: Studio Octopi)
There are three swimming pools within: a 25 m (82 ft) lap pool, a plunge pool, and a paddling pool for kids (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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There are three swimming pools within: a 25 m (82 ft) lap pool, a plunge pool, and a paddling pool for kids (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
The pontoon will be accessed by stairs and sport a lifeguard tower (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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The pontoon will be accessed by stairs and sport a lifeguard tower (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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, so the pools will be filled with filtered water (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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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, so the pools will be filled with filtered water (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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 (Image: Studio Octopi)
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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 (Image: Studio Octopi)
The goal is just £125,000 (US$187,381) (Image: Studio Octopi)
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The goal is just £125,000 (US$187,381) (Image: Studio Octopi)
Studio Octopi is currently raising funds via Kickstarter to help with planning and construction costs (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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Studio Octopi is currently raising funds via Kickstarter to help with planning and construction costs (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
Artist Tracy Emin has lent her support to the project (Photo: Studio Octopi)
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Artist Tracy Emin has lent her support to the project (Photo: Studio Octopi)

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, so the pools will be filled with filtered water (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)
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, so the pools will be filled with filtered water (Image: Studio Octopi & Picture Plane)

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.

Sources: Studio Octopi, Kickstarter

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