London may soon be adding another impressive piece of architecture to its skyline, and this time it’s the rooftop pool that takes center stage. This isn’t just any ordinary rooftop pool, but a four-sided infinity pool that gives 360-degree views across the city. Believed to be the first of its kind, this stunning design was conceived by Compass Pools. In fact, the pool is such a focal point that the architecture was designed to meet its specific needs.
Swimmers will feel like they’re floating 650 feet above the sky when they take a dip in this unique pool, which will sit atop of a 55-story building. In order to achieve the desired effect of transparency, cast acrylic was selected as the primary material rather than glass. As cast acrylic transmits light at a similar wavelength to water, it allows the pool to appear perfectly clear. Thanks to the transparent floor, observers below will have a clear view of the swimmers enjoying the pool.
Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of the infinity pool is how one enters and exits. “Normally a simple ladder would suffice, but we didn’t want stairs on the outside of the building or in the pool as it would spoil the view— and obviously you don’t want 600,000 liters of water draining through the building either,” explains Compass Pool’s swimming pool designer and technical director Alex Kemsley.
This necessitated a solution based on the door of a submarine. Swimmers access the pool through a spiral staircase that, when coupled with the door, rises from the pool floor. It’s a unique twist that adds a bit of flair to the experience and makes entering and exiting the pool as thrilling as the 360-degree views.
Additional technical features include a computer-controlled system to ensure the correct water temperature. This innovative infinity pool is also heated in a sustainable manner thanks to its use of renewable energy. The heating system will use waste energy from the building’s air conditioning system by running the hot gas byproduct through a transformer to heat the pool. A built-in anemometer to monitor the wind speed will ensure that water does not blow onto the streets below.
“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,” shared Kemsley. “But on this project, we actually started with the pool design and essentially said, ‘how do we put a building underneath this?’ ”
Given this opportunity, Compass Pools spared no details. There are even colorful lights that give the pool the appearance of a jewel glowing in the night once the sun sets. Though the exact location of the building in London has not been announced, construction could begin as early as 2020. The structure itself will house a five-star hotel on the top floors, which will give guests access to this one-of-a-kind infinity pool.