After we ran an article earlier in the week about a feasibility study into a lido on the Thames, we got an email about a previous lido concept that was floated for the South Bank.
Architect Alex Lifschutz told us, “the design was intended as a speculative provocation to highlight the need for facilities”. In that respect the design was successful, as the area is getting its own pool at Doon Street, designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands working with Coin Street Community Builders.
The lido plan is for a year-round pool with a glass roof and walls that can be slid open in good weather. The structure floats on a steel base moored to a concrete platform built into the riverbed. Building over the river was less about using Thames water and more about space: “the Thames is an incredibly underused resource and our idea was to tap into some of this potential to provide a public pool freed from the constraint of land use in Central London. The swimming use is particularly appropriate to the river – with the pool rising and falling with the tide giving swimmers a spectacular and changing view of the city,” says Lifschutz.
The new swimming pool at Doon Street doesn’t necessarily mean that this lido design is dead in the water, and we’re sure this plan and the Studio Octopi design for a lido built into the river will both be presented to the City Hall researchers.