The world’s first 360-degree infinity pool will be fitted into the roof of a London Skyscraper.
Those brave enough to swim will have death-defying views as they float 220 meters above the city. Designs show that the pool will feature four clear walls and a transparent floor, so visitors to the hotel below will be able to look up and see both the swimmers and the sky.
UK-based pool manufacturer Compass Pools is behind the Infinity London project. They have designed the pool to be made out of cast acrylic, rather than glass, as this material transmits light at a similar wavelength to water. The idea is that the pool will look crystal clear.
At night, it will be lit up with twinkling lights, to make the building look like a sparkling jewel-topped torch.
Those brave enough to swim atop the 55-storey building will have uninterrupted views over London. The question is; how will swimmers get in and out of the pool?
That is a feat of engineering itself, and it relies on a rotating James Bond-esque staircase beneath the pool.
“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 litres of water draining through the building either,” said Compass Pools’ technical director Alex Kemsley.
“The solution is based on the door of a submarine, coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out — the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot.”
This rising staircase isn’t depicted in designs, so it still remains to be seen exactly how this will work.
The company has also designed a sustainable heating system, to keep the pool at a comfortable temperature. This involves recycling waste energy from the skyscraper’s air conditioning system. The hot gas produced as a by-product of creating cold air to pump throughout the building will be run through a heat exchanger to keep the pool water warm.
The design features even more technological advancements. A Programmable Logic Controller will ensure the entire system and its sensors are working in harmony.
To assuage the fears of those who think a swimming pool atop a skyscraper is a scary idea, the company says they will fit the pool with an anemometer. This will measure wind speeds at the top of the skyscraper to ensure swimmers have a good idea of what the conditions for swimming are like.
The system will also monitor the water levels and use the wind speed data to ensure water does not get displaced and splash onto the street below.
But, if you are reading this and drafting an email to your boss in hopes that you may get an infinity pool built atop your own office block, slam on the brakes. A 360-degree infinity pool is something tougher to build on already existing constructions.
“Architects often come to us to design rooftop infinity pools, but rarely do we get a say in the building design because the pool is usually an afterthought,” said Kemsley.
“But on this project, we actually started with the pool design and essentially said, ‘how do we put a building underneath this?’
“When we designed the pool, we wanted an uninterrupted view, both above and below the water.”
The location of Infinity London is yet to be determined. However, construction is expected to begin in 2020 once partners and contractors are confirmed. A five-star international hotel will occupy the top floors of the skyscraper and the pool will be used by their guests.