This 360-Degree Rooftop Infinity Pool Is Making Us Feel A Bit Queasy

How do you get in and out of it?

Forget having a room with a view, the next big architectural trend is pools with a view, we’re told – and they’re certainly not for the faint-hearted.

One such gulp-worthy pool could be coming to London. The 360-degree infinity pool – touted as “death defying” by its designers Compass Pools – aims to let swimmers see the capital from 200 metres up.

The question on everyone’s lips (and tweets) is how the hell do you get in and out of it?

The 600,000-litre pool is set to be built at the very top of a 55-storey building and at 1.4 metres in depth is officially shallow enough not to require a lifeguard.

The building will house a five-star international hotel on its top floors, with the pool available to guests. But cast in clear acrylic, with see-through barriers around the side and a transparent floor, it’s not not one for the shy and retiring – visitors will be able to see both swimmers and the sky above them.

How will guests actually access the pool? Through a James Bond-esque rotating spiral staircase, says the designer – and he based it on the door of a submarine.

“Imagine it like a tube inside a tube,” Compass Pool’s technical director Alex Kemsley told HuffPost UK. “A tube will rise from the floor in order to make an airlock. The water will then drain from it and the staircase will then rise up through that to allow you to get in and out.”

The unique design means that water won’t spill over the edge of the pool onto unsuspecting passersby – and you don’t have to hold your breath as you come up. Phew.

Compass Pools

Kemsley began designing the pool in 2017 as a concept but his dream may finally become reality in the next few years. The pool could begin construction as early as 2020 if all the partners and contractors are confirmed.

The pool would be heated using waste energy from the air conditioning system for the building.

Another snazzy – and surely essential – feature will be the built-in anemometer to monitor wind speed. This would be linked to a computer-controlled building management system to ensure the pool stays at the right temperature and water doesn’t get blown down to the streets below.

People have noted that, with London weather, a rooftop infinity pool might be rather wishful thinking.

“Swimming in the SkyPool at The Shard, it’s quite a weird feeling to have helicopters flying past at your level, but this pool takes it a step further,” says Kemsley.

“Pop your goggles on and with a 360-degree view of London from 220m up, it really will be something else – but it’s definitely not one for the acrophobic!”

That’s fear of heights by any other name, by the way. We’re already feeling a bit wobbly at the thought of it and we’re not the only ones.

Compass Pools
Compass Pools

And there were those who agreed the whole thing was extra – but not in a good way.