The Thames Lido is a conceptual project – a swimming pool on the Thames – designed to be a spectacular addition to London’s South Bank. The emphasis is on spontaneity and a celebration of the river, but the project’s serious message was to highlight the need for a public swimming facility in this part of London.
Floating like a ship in the river Thames, the Lido is connected to the South Bank by jetty. The elliptical structure measures 75m by 38m and extends 8m above water level when floating at high tide. Enclosed within its crystalline roof are a swimming pool, changing rooms, plantrooms and a restaurant, to the south (the bank side) are two large sun decks. The pool itself is Olympic-sized. Retractable bleacher seating can be installed for public events including swimming galas, dances and festivals. The southern sun terraces are intended to allow the public to spill out in the summer and to provide additional space for special events.
The floating steel base is moored over a concrete landing platform built into the river bed. Within this steel structure are the changing rooms, catering preparation facilities and of course the depth of the pool itself. A large aquarium visible from the pool and the changing rooms will also be located at this level. The internal environment of the Lido is responsive to weather and season. The design takes full advantage of the unique site and allows the facilities to be enjoyed all year round over a considerable part of each day.
The roof and glass walls can slide open in their entirety leaving the central portion of the deck level, or pool if in use, fully exposed. In this condition the interior space is increased to approximately 2,100 sq m (22,600 sq ft) by means of extending floor.
A popular project, the Thames Lido caught the imagination of Londoners, and a new swimming pool and facility now form part of the Doon Street project for Coin Street Community Builders.
Client Coin Street Community Builders
Location London SE1
Status Developed design
Architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Services Engineer Allot and Lomax
Structural Engineer Techniker
Images Visualhouse, Andrew Putler