The English capital London will have a world first in the field of swimming pools (Infinity London) in the near future. A so-called infinity pool is being built on the roof of a 200-meter high skyscraper that offers spectacular views of the city’s skyline 360 degrees around and with walls of transparent plastic.
The huge swimming pool on top of the 55-story flat to be built will cover the entire roof and will have a capacity of 600,000 liters, according to a first impression the builder has given it. According to Compass Pools, a company based in West Sussex, the walls of the innovative bath are made of a special acrylic that breaks the wavelength of light in almost the same way as water. As a result, the bathing edges of Infinity London (the name of the James Bond-like construction) will be virtually invisible.
The bottom of the infinity pool is given a transparent floor so that people can see the swimmers from far below. Infinity London is actually the roof of an exclusive hotel on the top floors of the skyscraper. It closes the central hall, as it were. The surface of the water will be at an altitude of 220 meters above ground level.
Because the swimming pool covers the entire roof, there is no possibility to enter from the side. Swimmers gain access via a spiral staircase rotating in a tube that functions somewhat like the door of a submarine. According to the makers, coming up with that futuristic entrance was ‘the biggest challenge’.
Another advanced technical function is a built-in anemometer to measure the wind speed at high altitudes. This is linked to a computer-controlled building management system that ensures that the pool always stays at the right temperature and that no water is blown down. The heating system of the swimming pool uses waste energy (heat) from the air conditioning system in the building.
Fear of heights
The swimming pool, of which people with a fear of heights are already atrocious, must be made even more spectacular by LED lighting in all colors of the rainbow. According to Compass Pools, which also has branches in the Netherlands, Infinity London, therefore, becomes ‘a sparkling torch with shiny jewels’ on top of the building in the dark.
The designer and technical director of Compass Pools, Alex Kemsley, call the swimming pool in British media ‘the most modern of the most modern’. “Architects almost never get a say in the design of buildings, because in most cases swimming pools are a side issue. In this project, however, we started with the swimming pool and only then did the rest of the flat be signed,” says Kemsley.
He does not hide his enthusiasm for the bath. “Swimming in Infinity London will be a spectacular experience. You will see the helicopters fly by and swimmers have a fantastic view of The Shard: with 310 meters one of the tallest buildings in Europe.”
The construction of the swimming pool and the building must start next year. The contracts are currently being signed by all partners and contractors. Unfortunately, the infinity pool cannot be used by day visitors. It is only accessible to guests of the new 5-star hotel.