In 1997, two architects had a dream – to build the largest natural pool in the world in an arm of the Spree in Berlin. Now in 2015, their project has already attracted millions of euros.
Impossible to go to Berlin for a vacation without packing a swimsuit? That’s certainly what Flussbad Berlin (literally "river bath") is hoping. Flussbad Berlin is an association of architects and designers who are aiming to build a 750 meter long natural swimming pool - the equivalent of 15 Olympic swimming pools placed end to end - in an arm of the Spree alongside Museum Island, one of the capital’s most illustrious tourist attractions.
The people behind the project are Jan and Tim Edler. They are brothers and architects. The idea of creating this gigantic pool came to them in 1997. Eighteen years later, having mobilized a variety of contributors they finally have the means to pursue their crazy project. Flussbad Berlin has attracted not only the support of Berliners but also 2.6 million euros from the German federal government. The government of Berlin has also promised to contribute up to 1.3 million euros, making a total of 3.9 million euros available by 2018 for the project’s preparatory phase. Last June, the association received 110,000 euros from the lottery foundation to conduct the hydrological study needed for designing the natural pool.
The project has garnered such widespread support because it won’t just be for taking a dip! Flussbad Berlin wants to create a natural public space that will "restore the ecological integrity of the river." In practice the association has plans for a plant filter system that will reduce water pollution, and an "urban park" that will provide a home for endangered plants and animals. Pedestrians and cyclists will not be forgotten as a pathway along the banks of the canal will take them right to the historic city center. Elsewhere in the world, recreational and ecological urban pools are all the rage.
Although no start date for the work has yet been set, Flussbad Berlin seems to have more and more followers among Berliners, who have already made significant donations to the association’s funds - the Edler brothers’ dream is not about to go down the drain.
Main picture: Copyrights: realities:united (Flussbad Simulation Drawings)