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Londoners Will Soon Have a Freshwater Swimming Pool Cleaned by Plants, Not Chemicals

Looking for a clean place to swim in London? City dwellers will have a freshwater, natural pool at their disposal in King’s Cross beginning in May. Designed by Rotterdam Studio, Ooze architects and artist Marietica Potrč, the chemical-free outdoor pool is the first of its kind in the UK.
The King’s Cross Swimming Pool is a manmade, freshwater pond kept clean and filtered through natural processes. At forty meters long, the pool will accommodate up to 100 swimmers at a time within the new Lewis Cubitt Park.

"The project ‘Of Soil and Water’ is a natural swimming pond. It's purely naturally filtered water which we'll be able to swim in and it's surrounded by plants to introduce a little wild nature," said Efa Pfannes, founder of Ooze Architects.

The*“Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club”* project was commissioned as part of the public art program RELAY and the 27-hectare King’s Cross redevelopment.

"The project is a small-scale enclaved environment; a living laboratory to test balance and to question a self-sustaining system including one nature cycle – water, land and the human body,” Pfannes said. “Actors are part of the process. Visitors enter a living laboratory where they are aware of their relationship with nature, and about consequences of their interaction with nature and take responsibilities, they thus become actors.”

The pool is cleaned by wetland plants and wildlife living within it, and visitor numbers will be restricted on given days to allow plant life to regenerate.

Other companies have also found innovative ways to promote urban recreation while cleaning the environment. New York startup Plus Pool (+ POOL) is developing a floating, water-filtering pool for New York City’s Hudson River. And in June in the Philippines, Japanese cosmetic brand Hana launched an 88-foot floating organic billboard that simultaneously cleans a polluted river with toxin-filtering grass.

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