Plans for a breath-taking, suspended swimming pool named ‘Sky Pool’ have been unveiled for Embassy Gardens – the residential heart of London’s newest neighbourhood, Nine Elms on the South Bank. Ballymore are responsible for the development of Embassy Gardens with their development partners Eco World. Connecting two buildings at the Embassy Gardens development in London, the proposed ‘Sky Pool’ has been designed by Arup Associates in consultation with structural engineering firm Eckersley O’Callaghan and aquarium designers Reynolds.
The stunning outdoor pool will link two residential buildings at the 10th storey – a world first – and allow residents to swim from one building to the next. We are the structural engineers for the project, working with architects Arup Associates and US polymer technologists Reynolds. Some significant engineering challenges have been addressed in developing the structural solution for this spectacular new pool.
The bridge has a clear span of 14m. The side walls form deep beams capable of spanning this distance whilst carrying the weight of the water, as well as dealing with the water pressure on the sides and wind loads. Meanwhile the two buildings are subject to normal movements which are inherent in any building of this scale, due to wind sway, foundation settlement etc. The new structure must deal with these and so it cannot be rigidly connected at both ends, it must be allowed to slide at the same time as maintaining watertightness. A bonded acrylic structure will be used, resulting in less intrusive joints and connections and greater transparency. The refractive index of acrylic, being closer to that of water, will also produce much less distortion when viewing from in the water or from outside.