King’s Cross Pond

Created in London by Ooze Architects and Marjetica Potrč, Of Soil and Water: The King's Cross Pond Club is a micro-ecological environment with a natural swimming pond at its center.

Ooze Architects and Marjetica Potrč, <i>Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club</i>, London
The natural, chemical-free pond installed at London’s King’s Cross is the creation of Ooze Architects (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and artist Marjetica Potrč and it encourages swimmers and visitors to participate in the installation as a piece of experiential art.
Entitled Of Soil and Water’: The King’s Cross Pond Club will exist on the King’s Cross site as both an art installation and a public space on a temporary basis before its location at Lewis Cubitt Park is further opened up for use.
Ooze Architects and Marjetica Potrč, <i>Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club</i>, London
Ooze Architects and Marjetica Potrč, Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club, London. Photo © Brendan Bell
Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club is a bathing pond, in a natural oblong shape, built two metres above ground level and 10m wide x 40m long. Its central pool is surrounded by both hard and soft landscaping, including pioneer plants, wild flowers grasses, and bushes so that the environment evolves as the seasons change. The swimming pond will be purified through a natural closed-loop process, using wetland and submerged water plants to filter and sustain clean and clear water. As the UK’s first public man-made, naturally purified outdoor bathing pond, Of Soil and Water is engineered and built by BIOTOP and its UK partner, Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd.
Architects Ooze and artist Potrč have been collaborating on projects since 2008. Ooze’s projects are of a participative and multidisciplinary nature. “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,” said Eva Pfannes. “The project is a small-scale enclaved environment, a living laboratory to test balance and to question a self-sustaining system including one nature cycle – water, land and the human body. Actors (visitors to the project) are part of the process. Visitors enter a living laboratory where they are aware of their relationship with nature, and about consequences of their interaction with nature and take responsibilities, they thus become actors. The aim is communication with visitors, describing the balance of man with nature, and balance of living in a sustainable city,” she continued.
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.”

Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club, Lewis Cubitt Park at London’s King’s Cross
Authors: Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) and Marjetica Potrč
Construction and Engineering Partners: BIOTOP
UK Construction Partners:
Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd.
King’s Cross Central Ltd Partnership
Michael Pinsky and Stephanie Delcroix
Area: 400 sqm
Completion: 2015

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