Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club

An art installation in the form of a natural swimming pond

Pond Club, outdoor swimming, King's CrossOf Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Cub was the fourth part of the King’s Cross public art program, RELAY. The temporary art installation was open to visitors from May 2015 to October 2016 and was a much loved part of the landscape at King’s Cross.

About the King’s Cross Pond Club

Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club was the UK’s first ever, man-made natural swimming pond. The chemical free pond was an innovative experiential art project created by Ooze Architects and artist Marjetica Potrč.

Located in Lewis Cubitt Park, the project’s aim was to provide visitors with a beautiful and relaxing vantage point, where they could swim and enjoy nature in an urban location.

The installation aimed to make us think about the relationship between nature and the urban environment – the permanence of buildings and the changing nature of undeveloped spaces.

Here the architects and artist discuss the project.

Pond, outdoor swimming, Lewis Cubitt Park, King’s CrossAbout the pond

The 10m x 40m pond was completely chemical free. Water was purified through a natural, closed-loop process using wetland and submerged water plants to filter the water and keep it clear. The number of bathers was restricted by the amount of water the system was able to clean. Thus, the use of the pond remains in balance with what nature can absorb and regenerate.

The plants surrounding the pond cleaned and enriched the soil, creating an environment rich in biodiversity for visitors to observe, experience and enjoy.

King's Cross Pond ClubEva Pfannes of Ooze Architects“The project is an attempt to capture the dynamicity conveyed by the changes within the area – a moment in time where new possibilities and possible futures arise. In this particular project, the juxtaposition of something so natural in an urban environment was a very important idea for us. It is meant to look unpolished and to evolve as the seasons change.”

The artist, Marjetica Potrč said of the work, “We have to re-think how we live with the city and with nature. Here, we are collaborating with nature and the artwork encourages the viewer to participate in that experience. Water is a source of life but it is also a metaphor for regeneration. We want to understand our influence upon nature but also our balance with nature.”

The pond was engineered and built by Europe’s leading natural pool designers BIOTOP and its UK partner, Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd.

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