When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
This famous phrase has shaped the history of the English capital, used to describe all the attractions and beauty that it can offer. And although it was pronounced in 1777 by the critic Samuel Johnson, London has maintained this reputation over the time: certainly you’ve noticed it if you've spent a few days in the city. The eternal trendsetter never ceases to amaze and it marked another bullet point in the to-do-list of travelers and Londoners making the first outdoor pool purified by plants! No more chlorine and chemical additives so in King's Cross Pond Club, the first man-made lake for bathing in the UK. A small ecosystem made self-sufficient thanks to the ecological functions of plants, which grow filtering out water micronutrients.
The method is that of the typical phytopurification of humid environments, which artificially reproduced uses of aquatic higher plants (macrophytes), able to tolerate high levels of pollution and nutrients. A small oasis initially presented as an art installation as part of the King's Cross Arts Programme by the Dutch architects of Studio Ooze, Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg and artist Marjetica Potrč, created in one of the central districts of London (the name will already have made you understand that we are close to the famous King's Cross station, but it is also near Camden Town), subject to a total re-qualification development over the next twenty years. The swimming pool opens at 6 am during the week and at 8am on weekends, accepting a limited number of visitors calculated on the filtering plants capacity.
All designed to make sure to re-establish the balance between man and nature while living in a sustainable city. Meanwhile the neighborhood is transformed and re-qualificated, the natural pool accompanies it, changing its face with the seasons thanks to the careful selection of plants that surround it. But which is the opinion of the real Londoners? There are the stylish ones excited for the new lifestyle, which, abandoning the classical pool, have taken the plunge (in every sense) in the natural with a dip in the art. (Being an art installation, the wordplay is perfect). And then, as always, there are skeptics and hesitant, worried about the hygiene and discouraged by the urban context. Swimming in a pond, in the midst of plants and surrounded by palaces cannot be pleasant for everyone, but the pool is intentionally 'raw', ready to evolve with seasonality.