If you’ve ever wondered what a superhero (or super villain) has felt like catapulting toward the sky in one of those super-futuristic elevators that always seem to be in action films, listen up. A new pool in London is giving people a chance to feel like a total rebel from the second they step inside the pool’s building to the moment they step into the water.
The 158,503-gallon pool is quite simple: The entire rooftop of the building is covered in water. From above, the design makes it appear that there’s no way for someone to access the area. This is where the superhero / super villain / James Bond moment comes in: a staircase that rises from the center of the pool.
“Normally a simple ladder would suffice, but we didn’t want stairs on the outside of the building or in the pool as it would spoil the view—and obviously you don’t want 600,000 liters of water draining through the building either,” said Compass Pools' swimming pool designer and technical director, Alex Kemsley in an interview with The Daily Mail. “The solution is based on the door of a submarine, coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out—the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot.”
There’s a lot that needs to be monitored with a pool on top of a 55-story skyscraper. There’s a built-in anemometer tasked with checking in on wind speed and a temperature management system, as to avoid water splashing down on the street (and people) below. The heated pool stays warm using waste energy from the building’s air conditioning system. The finishing touch: The walls of the pool are made of acrylic instead of glass to give the water an even clearer look. From inside the pool, you’ll be able to gaze out at the rest of the city—and down, if you’re brave enough to swim to the edge.
There’s still some work to be done, but if all partners and contractors are on the same page, construction could begin as soon as 2020.