On the 19th May 2015, 26 days into a 30 day Kickstarter campaign, a new outdoor swimming initiative in London reached its £125,000 crowd-funded target. The final Kickstarter total was over an amazing £142,000. The project in question was the Thames Baths Lido.
Here's the key info to know;
- The Thames Baths will be a floating, natural lido on the River Thames.
- It will be filled with filtered, clean Thames water. The bespoke filtration system will ensure that the water is crystal clear.
- There will be two swimming pools, a 25m lap pool and a training pool.
- It will be warmed all year round.
- It aims to be a cultural destination with home for wildlife, a locally supplied cafe and even cine+swim nights run by popular cinema groups.
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Temple Baths Plan - Studio Octopi[/caption]
The idea for the baths originally came about when founder Chris Romer-Lee from architecture firm, Studio Octopi, spotted an architecture competition on Twitter whilst swimming in Lake Zurich. The plans then developed from the idea of increasing Londoner's interaction with the River Thames. In the past, swimming in the Thames was common but after the Second World War, in the latter half of the 20th century, conditions in the water decreased, and swimming in the water became rare. However in recent years Thames swimming has been on the rise again. It's clear that this project has been proposed at the perfect time to capture the public's attention.
Since the funds were raised, the team behind the Baths have started their pre-planning report and are looking at the constraints and conditions for each of their proposed sites. These include Southbank by the London Eye, City Hall by Tower Bridge, Temple and Blackfriars. The planning will take place at the end of 2015, with construction beginning in late 2016, ready for a launch date of early 2017.
Recently we had a chat with founder Chris, he thinks that the project "definitely caught people's imaginations" at the right time as open water swimming has had a huge resurgence in recent years. We also learned that they are currently designing a lido in Peckham and have had interest in their project from places as far as Seattle, so you could see these popping up all over the world! When asked if he thought this would catch on and more places would like to house similar natural lidos Chris explained that its a "really exciting proposition" as its essentially a product that can be created at any suitable river.
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South Bank Baths - Studio Octopi[/caption]
With so much interest in open water swimming right now, this new lido has been planned at the perfect time and we're sure that it will be extremely popular once it opens its doors in 2017. We will definitely be heading down there to test it out! What do you think of projects like this? Are you a fan of open water swimming? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts on all things Thames Baths and open water.
If you want to learn more about swimming in the Thames then 'Downstream: A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames' by Caitlin Davies comes highly recommended by Thames Baths founder Chris.
The Thames Baths team are currently looking for partners and sponsors for the next stage of the project so if you would like to get involved then please do contact them via their website
. Or you can find them on Facebook
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