Tracey Emin Campaigns for Open-Air Swimming Pool

Render of the Thames Baths projectPhoto: Studio Octopi via Dezeen
Render of the Thames Baths project
Photo: Studio Octopi via Dezeen

A crowd-funding campaign, set to raise £10 million to build an open-air swimming pool in London’s River Thames will launch next month, the Guardian reports. And it will be fronted by none other than British artist Tracey Emin, who will star in a promotional video.

Chris Romer-Lee, director of Studio Octopi, the architectural practice behind the Thames Baths project, said they are hoping that Londoners will support the Kickstarter campaign, which boasts its own hashtag: #BacktheBaths.

Admission to the pool would cost £4–6, the same price of using a local community pool. “It’s really important this doesn’t become another London Eye 25-quid experience. It’s not about that,” Romer-Lee told the Guardian.

If the project gets the green light, a 25-meter by 10-meter pool and poolside decking will be built on the Victoria Embankment, opposite the South Bank. A four-foot-high glass barrier would also be installed to protect swimmers from waves and prevent cross-contamination of water. If everything goes according to plan, the Thames Baths would open as soon as 2016.

The project, which has been endorsed by the Outdoor Swimming Society, would bring relief to London’s restricted outdoor swimmers. Since the introduction of a new regulation in 2012, swimming in the Thames without prior permission from the Port of London Authority is illegal.

Thames Baths has a successful model to look up to: New York’s Plus Pool project, launched in 2011, achieved its crowd-funding target in less than a week. The project is slated to open in mid-2016.


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