Irish-built Sky Pool a ‘world first’: 10 storeys up, transparent, and hanging between two high-rises

Ballymore responds to criticism of landmark London pool as amenity for wealthiest residents

A very special new swimming pool has just opened - one the world has never seen before. Video: Reuters

 

Amazing, or nauseating? London’s Sky Pool – a swimming pool suspended between two buildings 10 storeys up – has divided opinion.

London, like Ireland, basked in warm weather over the weekend, with Monday clocking the UK’s hottest temperatures of the year so far, at 24.6 degrees. Aerial footage posted on Twitter by the BBC showed some residents of the building enjoying the dizzying amenity.

The pool spans the 14m gap between Embassy Gardens’ Legacy Buildings at Nine Elms, next door to the United States’ new London embassy and near the regenerated Battersea Power Station. Ballymore, the Irish-based property group behind the development, has billed the pool as a world first.

Sky Pool: the amenity spans the gap between two exclusive residential blocks next to the US embassy in London. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Sky Pool: the amenity spans the gap between two exclusive residential blocks next to the US embassy in London. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The structure is, the developer says, the largest single piece of load-bearing acrylic in the world. It was made in Colorado and shipped thousands of kilometres to Nine Elms, before being unveiled earlier this year.

Anxious Twitter responses to footage of Sky Pool swimmers posted by the BBC ranged from “I’m terrified just looking at it” to “Nope. No. Never”. Other users focused on housing inequality and highlighted that the pool is only open to residents of exclusive, higher-cost blocks in the development.

Ballymore has responded to those criticisms this afternoon. “All residents at Embassy Gardens receive the same service in terms of estate management, security, general building safety and energy supply,” it says in a statement. “The shared-ownership properties at Embassy Gardens are owned and managed by Peabody and Optivo. When Peabody and Optivo acquired their elements of the development prior to construction, they had the option to choose which facilities they wanted to buy into for their residents.

“To retain a more affordable service charge, they elected to not include access to the health club, cinema, pools, business centre, lounges, concierge and post room. A number of other amenities, including bars, restaurants and a cycle studio, are included within the development and are open to the public.”

Sky Pool: the amenity was built by Ballymore Group. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty
Sky Pool: the amenity was built by Ballymore Group. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty
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