London may soon become host to a swimming facility that is as weather-defying as it is death-defying, with plans underway to build the world's first 360-degree infinity pool high up in the frosty English capital. Infinity London would put thrill-seeking swimmers 220 m (721 ft) above street level and offer one-of-a-kind panoramic views of the surrounds.

The planned Infinity London tower would rise 55 stories above the city, with its upper levels occupied by a five-star international hotel. But its crowning jewel will be a 600,000-liter (160,000-gal) pool with no visible edges, at least for those splashing about inside.

You're probably wondering how people are going to get in and out, and in designing Infinity London, Compass Pools says it was determined not to ruin the clean and clear views with ladders and stairs on the outside. Its solution, therefore, was to offer access with some kind of submarine-inspired air-locking stairwell that rises through the body of water.

"The solution is based on the door of a submarine, coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out," says Compass Pool's swimming pool designer and technical director Alex Kemsley. "The absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot!"

Other interesting features of the design include a transparent floor so visitors can see swimmers overhead, a built-in wind speed monitor to help prevent water spilling onto the streets below, and an innovative heating system that captures hot gas produced through the building's air conditioning systems to warm the water for the pool.

The pool is also equipped with colored lights designed to give the tower the appearance of a sparkling jewel at night, while the pool walls and floor is made of cast acryclic instead of traditional glass. Compass pools says this helps keep the water looking clear because the material transmits light at a similar wavelength to water.

Compass Pools says that construction could kick off as early as next year if it can confirm all of its project partners and contractors, but another thing it says is that the location for the Infinity Pool tower is yet to be confirmed. So, it doesn't seem entirely certain that this will all go ahead, but at the very least it makes for an interesting architectural concept.

"Architects often come to us to design roof top infinity pools, but rarely do we get a say in the building design because the pool is usually an afterthought," says Kemsley. "But on this project, we actually started with the pool design and essentially said, 'how do we put a building underneath this?' When we designed the pool, we wanted an uninterrupted view, both above and below the water."

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