Swimming through the clouds

In a spectacular design that is definitely not for the faint hearted, swimmers will be able to float above the skylines of London’s city as soon as 2018.

The ambitious project will see a “sky pool” built between two apartment buildings in London’s Nine Elms district.

The pool, made entirely of glass, will be suspended ten stories above the ground.

Approximately 25 metres long and six metres wide, the concept was thought up by Sean Mulryan, director or Eco World Ballymore, in partnership with architectural firm, Arup Associates.

“My vision for the Sky Pool stemmed from a desire to push the boundaries in the capability of construction and engineering,” said Mulryan. “I wanted to do something that had never been done before. The Sky Pool’s transparent structure is the result of significant advancements in technologies over the last decade. The experience of the pool will be truly unique; it will feel like floating through the air in central London.”

The development, that will include a spa, sky deck and orangery, will commence construction this year, with occupants being able to move in by 2018.

Would you be game enough to swim over the city?


Architect designs sleeping pods for London’s homeless

In London, the growing homeless population is proving to be a large inspiration for those looking to help. We have seen the impact of ‘homeless’ spikes in urban areas and the subsequent protest against them, but government policy is still not directing a focus towards the issue.

As such, an architect in the capitol has designed an innovative solution to support the city’s growing homeless population.

James Furzer, an architect from Dagenham, has won an award for his ‘pods’ designed to be attached to ‘host’ buildings for temporary relief from the elements and perils of sleeping on the streets.

The shelters, which will be accessible during the day and especially over night, are made of an affordable and sturdy untreated plywood, held up by a steel frame.

The pods hang above eye level and are designed to be accessed via ladder, which leads up to a mattress and a makeshift living area, surrounded by insulated walls.

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

There are 750 people sleeping rough in London every night – a 77% increase since 2010 – and two-thirds have been subjected to abuse from the public, according to Furzer.

It was this growing sentiment of treating homelessness as a ‘burden’, along side the proliferation of anti-homeless spikes across London’s city, that sparked Furzer’s interest in making a difference.

Jennifer Barnes, Head of Policy and Research at homeless charity Centrepoint shared Furzer’s vision, stating:

“It’s really encouraging to see talented people like James focussed on tackling the growing problem of rough sleeping in the capital.

Anti-homeless spikes, which have concerned James and many others, are a short-sighted response which has added to the stigma of homelessness, and failed to address the root causes.”

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

James Furzer/Rex Shuttershock

Although the pods are still in design phase, Furzer is hoping to receive enough funding to get the pods out on the streets.

“The concept never once states that this will cure the homeless issue, and prevent homelessness altogether. I would like to think this could be one step forward in helping the homeless…”

Would you like to see these pods in your city?