A spectacular, glass-encased outdoor swimming pool—suspended 10 stories up and providing a “bridge” between two apartment buildings—is the latest architectural showstopper at Nine Elms, the new riverside district in London. A vision of the Ballymore Group, the Sky Pool connects two communal rooftop terraces atop the luxury Embassy Gardens apartment complex beside Battersea Power Station.
Described as the “first of its kind in the world,” the entirely transparent Sky Pool measures 82 feet long by 16.4 feet wide, and is nearly 10 feet deep (with a water depth of about four feet). An inspiration of Sean Mulryan, chairman and founder of developer Ballymore, the swimming pool modeled after an aquarium will use eight-inch-thick glass so it appears to float in the air.
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Pushing the boundaries of construction and engineering, the structure-free pool was designed by architecture and engineering firm Arup Associates with specialist advice from structural design engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan and aquarium designers Reynolds. The Sky Pool stretches the possibilities of design using technological advancements of the past decade.
The pool will only be for private use of the lucky (and daring) residents at the Embassy Gardens, a 2,000-home complex designed by HAL Architects being built next to the new American Embassy. They’ll soon be able to swim from one building to the next while overlooking the Palace of Westminster and the London Eye, and will also be able to enjoy the bar, spa and orangery on the sky decks atop each building. Residents who prefer not to swim can also cross the footbridge between buildings.
Photos courtesy of Ballymore Group
The riverside Nine Elms area adjacent to Battersea Power Station is undergoing extensive redevelopment by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry. Two additional tube stations will link central London to the new area, which will feature a new public square and giant sparking Tesla coils designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group. Inspired by buildings in NYC’s Meatpacking District, Embassy Gardens will have floor-to-ceiling windows, brick façades, landscaped gardens, and a riverfront walkway to Battersea Park. The development is scheduled to be completed in 2017.
Considering that units in the Embassy Gardens cost upwards of $944,000 (or £602,000), most people will probably have to just witness the Sky Pool swimmers as pedestrians gazing up through the glass bottom from below.
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