Studio Octopi kicks off crowdfunding campaign for Thames Baths project

by Jak Phillips | 23 Apr 2015

Architecture practice Studio Octopi’s dream of sparking a “swimming revolution” by creating a floating freshwater pool in London’s River Thames has today (23 April) become the subject of an ambitious crowdfunding campaign.

The Thames Baths project – which has won high-profile backing from figures including artist Tracey Emin and London mayor Boris Johnson – was last month incorporated as a CIC (Community Interest Company), meaning the public space will be run as a social enterprise.

Attention has now turned to raising the funds necessary to help get the project off the ground and into the water. Today’s launch on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, sees the team seeking £125,000 (US$188,000, €175,000) over the next 30 days to help create the floating freshwater pool at Temple Stairs off the Victoria Embankment. In return for pledging money, a tiered membership scheme offers donors free swims in the opening year of the lido.

If planning permission is granted, the Thames Baths would consist of a floating pontoon which rises and falls with the tide. The pools will be filled with River Thames water passed through a bespoke filtration system to make the water crystal clear. The designs incorporate two pools and a large publicly accessible decked area.

“Ever since we first sketched out the original concept for Thames Baths, we have always wanted to build something that benefited the community and allowed them to participate in its creation,” said Thames Baths founder and Studio Octopi director Chris Romer-Lee.

“The latter is one of the reasons why we are launching crowd-funding on Kickstarter. We want Londoners, swimmers and anyone passionate about urban waterways to show their support for this project and what better way than a very public campaign.”

Plans for the Thames Baths, have been in the works for some time now, having originally been designed by Studio Octopi for the “London As It Could Be Now” competition in 2013. The practice – which recently won an invited competition to design a new version of Peckham Rye Lido, also in London – subsequently revised the concept into the more workable and scalable design that we see today.

For more on Chris Romer-Lee and Studio Octopi, check out this profile from the the Q2 2014 edition of Leisure Management.

Thames Baths Team:

Founders and Architects - Studio Octopi

Product Manager - Matt Bamford-Bowes

Commercial Manager - Rob Saunders

Marine Engineers - Beckett Rankine

Landscape Architects - Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects

Cost Consultants - Jackson Coles

Graphic Designers - Build

Services Engineers - Max Fordham

Legal Advisors - Calvert Solicitors

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Architecture practice Studio Octopi’s dream of sparking a “swimming revolution” by creating a floating freshwater pool in London’s River Thames has today (23 April) become the subject of an ambitious crowdfunding campaign. The Thames Baths project – which has won high-profile backing from figures including artist Tracey Emin and London mayor Boris Johnson – was last month incorporated as a CIC (Community Interest Company), meaning the public space will be
The project aims to open up access to London’s largest public space – the River Thames / Studio Octopi
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