29 April 2015
King’s Cross walks on the wild side
by Jan-Carlos Kucharek
A ‘living laboratory’ for natural water filtration is providing wild swimming in the heart of the city.
At the far end of Argent’s King’s Cross development in central London, to the south of the new student housing block, the east of a building site and north of Stanton Williams’ Central St Martins art college, an experiment is in progress. It might not at first look like one; a bank of freshly turned earth, now peppered with thousands of wild flower and grass seedlings, and a path running up through it to reveal a curved pond of clear, silvery-green water, its rippling surface glinting invitingly in the sun. But this is Ooze Architects’ ‘Of Soil and Water’, an art installation cum ‘living laboratory’, a public bathing pond and created urban wetland, that celebrates the interactions of water with the earth and humans that use it as an example of a natural, self-sustaining closed loop. Opening this month, the art installation will evolve, mature and self-maintain in full view of the new community being built around it, in conjunction with its swimmers. A 40m by 10m curved form, running to nearly 3m at its deepest, King’s Cross Pond Club will be the UK’s first public, man-made, naturally purified outdoor bathing pool.
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