LONDON — For a break from this week’s unseasonably warm temperatures (for Britain, anyway), some Londoners cooled off in a new swimming pool that sits more than 10 stories above the ground, bridging two high-end residential buildings.
Made of transparent polymer, the 82-foot-long pool opened last month after being engineered and constructed in Grand Junction, Colo. The 61-ton structure was then shipped to London, a journey that took three weeks. It was the culmination of four years of construction, including six months of design planning.
“It was an idea that really stood out and that we thought was quite special,” said Sean Mulryan, the chief executive of Ballymore Group, the company that helped develop the residential complex, Embassy Gardens, that is home to the pool. “It’s only because of advances in technology that we’re able to do this. Swimming in it will make you feel like you’re floating in air.”
Embassy Gardens, developed by EcoWorld Ballymore, is in a neighborhood in southwest London that is undergoing redevelopment. From the so-called Sky Pool, swimmers have views of the neighboring U.S. Embassy, the Thames River and London’s skyline. If they look straight down, they would see the street 115 feet below them.
Use of the pool, which its developers have described as the world’s first floating pool, is exclusively for residents and their guests — but not all residents, which has led to some criticism. Many new residential developments in London are required to allocate a percentage of their units to lower-income residents. At Embassy Gardens, those tenants occupy 260 of the 1,500 total apartments, which start at 635,000 pounds (about $900,000). The lower-income residents do not have access to the pool or other amenities because they do not pay a fee, according to the company that manages their units.