Magnificent Metal Monday – Sky Pool Held up by Invisible Steel Frame

Photos: Simon Kennedy courtesy HAL Architects

Suspended 115 feet in the air, the world’s first floating pool opened in London on May 15. Architecture Digest reports, “The 82-foot-long heated oasis, which stretches across two flat roofs of the five-star hotel-like Embassy Gardens’ prominent Legacy buildings, is perhaps the world’s largest single piece of load-bearing acrylic.” What’s holding up the central section – an invisible steel frame!

Dezeen reports: “As the pool spans between two blocks, it was designed to respond to the movement of the buildings while supporting the weight of water and being impacted by wind due to its height. It was built within steel tubs on each of the two buildings, which also incorporate steps, cleaning equipment, a roller cover, water treatment and lighting. These tubs are supported on bridge bearings that allow the structure to move in all direction as the two buildings move. Two 38 millimetre diameter steel rods run under the pool to connect the two steel tubs to reduce loads on the acrylic structure.”

Building Design + Construction describes the project: “The nearly 50-foot-long transparent pool connects the buildings ten stories up. Sky Pool was originally conceived as a swimmable aqueduct, but the design process evolved in order to take advantage of the views across London that the space offered.”

An architecture practice based in the UK, HAL Architects designed the pool and claims it is the first-of-its kind in the world. Reynolds Polymers fabricated the panels and Eckersley O’Callaghan provided structural engineering services for the project.

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