Entitled “Of Soil And Water”, the King’s Cross Pond Club is an actual real live Land Art installation you can swim in, as well as the first ever man-made freshwater bathing pond in the UK. 

From Hampstead Heath to the Brixton Lido, London has no shortage of outdoors swimming space - including quite a high number of natural ponds where you’re exercising right alongside nature’s other water-built inhabitants. These beautiful lidos are scattered across London, some open to hardy bathers all year round, but so far none could claim to be actual works of art. Until now: entitled “Of Soil And Water”, the King’s Cross Pond Club is an actual real live Land Art installation you can swim in, as well as the first ever man-made freshwater bathing pond in the UK. 40 metres long, the pool has room for up to 40 swimmers at any one time, is filled with chemical-free, naturally purified water (by wetland and submerged plants that will continue to grow over time) water and surrounded by wild flowers and grass that will evolve with the seasons. Created by the Ooze Architects group (including Eva Pfannes, Sylvain Hartenberg and Marjetica Potrc), the Pond Club is the fourth and final part of the wider King’s Cross Public Arts Programme RELAY, aimed at encouraging citizens to think more ecologically, consider their impact on the environment around them and aspire to live in harmony with nature - no matter how urban their immediate surroundings might be.  

The designers haven’t forsaken comfort in the name of beauty, however, and have included toilets, changing rooms, unheated showers, lockers and even a designated picnic area. The installation will be open to the public for two years, but you would be wise to book a time slot in advance (up to two weeks) as the number of swimmers allowed access has been limited so as to reduce any potential damage to the nature surrounding it, and to allow the water enough time and space to keep itself clean and groomed.