The Vltava River used to be a favorite swimming spot for the people of Prague, but recent pollution has made the water too dirty to safely accommodate swimmers. Fortunately, local Czech architects Ondrej Lipensky and Andrea Kubna created a workaround for the mucky water that will allow swimmers to reconnect with the Vltava (and if you’re wondering how on Earth to pronounce that, listen to this).
The solution is (surprise surprise) a floating swimming pool. Unlike many of the other floating pools I’ve covered, this one takes a much greener approach. You see, there are basically two types of floating pools. The first type uses water-tight walls and chlorinated water to create a controlled swimming environment. The second just uses whatever body of water the structure is currently sitting in and filters the water so that everything inside is nice and clean.
This pool is the latter type. After all, if the objective is to give people a chance to reconnect to the local pastime of swimming in the river, then it kind of misses the mark if you don’t let people swim in actual river water. A textile membrane on the bottom of the pool would allow the tiny water molecules to seep upward, but all of the larger impurities would get trapped by the filter.
In addition to having clean and natural swimming water, the floating pool has a whole range of conveniences. The circular structure has changing rooms, showers, restrooms, a bar (bars are becoming a standard fixture in these floating pools, I’m noticing), and even a sauna. So, if you’re not remotely interested in swimming, this place will have enough cool features that you might want to make the trip anyway.
What I like most of all about this idea is the actual design. For one, the circular donut shape creates a large, open space in the middle for the swimmers while simultaneously separating the inhabitants from the surrounding world. On top of that, the pool is floating out in the middle of the river. Of all the floating pools I’ve covered, I don’t think any of them were completely detached from the mainland. By contrast, this pool would require people to hop on a boat and row their way over.
This feature may sound inconvenient, but I find myself drawn to this idea. I’ve lived in a big city before, and you’re just constantly surrounded by people and manmade structures. Even when you go to a park you can typically hear cars from nearby roads or see tall buildings. There’s just something about rowing out into the middle of a river that feels like you’re symbolically leaving the city behind in favor of this small oasis-like haven where the objective is to relax, have fun, and reconnect with the river.
Oh, and did I mention? When the weather goes frigid they’ll turn the whole thing into a floating ice rink out in the middle of the river, kind of like a miniature floating iceberg!