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Sean Mulryan

Sean Mulryan Chair and CEO, Ballymore Group
Project: Sky pool, Nine Elms, London, UK


Developer Ballymore announced plans at the end of the summer for a ‘sky pool’ spanning two apartment blocks in its Nine Elms development next to Battersea Power Station, London.

The 25m pool will be 5m wide and will enable residents to swim between the buildings with only 20cm of transparent acrylic between them and a 10 storey drop.

The pool is the brainchild of the Ballymore Group chair and CEO, Sean Mulryan, who said: “The experience will be unique; it will feel like floating through the air while you’re swimming.

“The Sky Pool’s transparent structure is the result of significant advancements in technologies over the last decade. My vision stemmed from a desire to push the boundaries of construction and engineering.”

The apartment building will also feature a rooftop bar, a spa and an orangery. A bridge running parallel with the pool will enable residents and visitors to walk between the buildings.

The pool was designed by Arup Associates, marine design engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan and aquarium designer Reynolds.

Ballymore MD John Mulryan explained how the acrylic structure will be supported. “The pool spans about 40m between the two buildings but a lot of the structure is in the side of the pool,” he said. “Even though you’ve only got 20cm [of thickness of acrylic] at the bottom of the pool, you’ve got 3m [of acrylic] on each side and that essentially carries a lot of the structure.

“Acrylic is really strong and it can do much more than it used to be able to do five or 10 years ago. “[This is] brand new technology and it’s the first time it’s been done.”

The apartments are part of the 2,000-home Embassy Gardens development which is entering its second stage and is part of a wider regeneration scheme masterplanned by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry.

The scheme has attracted controversy for its high-end pricing and designer styling.

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