Imagine swimming in the tidal Thames, surrounded by reeds that frame the most amazing views of London. Local architects Studio Octopi have been working up a new vision for the Thames with a floating pool called The Thames Baths Project. In addition to creating a new recreational space for the community, this aquatic landscape is expected to improve the river's flora and fauna.
The Thames Baths Project, envisioned in collaboration with structural engineers Civic Engineers and Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, is visionary yet achievable. The plan consists of a series of freshriver water pools – at Blackfriars and Shadwell – supported by a concrete slab and raised to the height of the high water mark. The pools will be anchored to the coast but float on the surface of the river, rising and falling in tandem with the Thames’ tide.
Around the pools concrete decks with cast-in air pockets would create a resting area for swimmers, surrounded by reeds for a more natural look. Over time, algae, ferns and native plants would grow freely in the planted areas and Londoners would have the chance to reclaim their largest outdoor public space.
This project was designed within the ‘London As It Could Be Now’ program but Londoners will have to wait until the completion of the Thames Tideway Tunnel (Super Sewer) in 2023.
Photos by Studio Octopi