In December we were asked to help with decommissioning the Kings Cross Pond Club, 2 years after we finished our on-site construction work as specialist sub-contractors. As planned from the outset it was closed down to make way for designated green space as part of the permanent development works.
Image: Kings Cross Pond, the B|D team get in for a swim
Enormous credit should be given to Argent, developers of the Kings Cross site, for taking on the perceived risk of building the first public natural swimming pond in the UK. The bold concept and artistic design by Rotterdam based Landscape Architects, Ooze, in conjunction with Marjetica Potrč became an iconic London Landmark with a cult following for almost two years. Kingcombe, assisted by WasserWerkstatt, provided the technical input and design to ensure that the bathing water adhered to the strict German FLL guidelines for natural pools. B|D Landscape Architects provided the detailed landscape design and there was a wider team of designers and contractors who also helped to bring the project together.
Image: Kings Cross pond, fantastic reflections
We are proud that the pond functioned so well despite some challenging conditions. The water remained clear and clean during periods of heavy summer use when bather loading was high and water temperatures were consistently over 20oC. As with all natural swimming pools Kingcombe build we used the market leading BIOTOP filtration equipment to maintain the excellent water quality.
Image: Kings Cross pond, perfect water quality
There are positive angles we can take from the decommissioning work. We now have a stock of second hand equipment that we can install at a heavily discounted rate. If you are considering a natural pool project and you are interested in saving on the cost of new equipment please do get in contact. Many of the plants from the Kings Cross pond have been relocated to other projects so as to minimise wastage and reflect the eco-friendly nature of natural pools.
What has been proven is that naturally filtered public swimming facilities do work in the UK and they are positively embraced by swimmers looking to escape the chlorinated blue box.
If you would like to know more about our BIOTOP natural pools then we recommend you talk to Ben Garner in the first instance 01460 279 200. Alternatively you can order brochures from our website here: http://kingcombe.com/natural-swimming-pools/
Now is a good time to start planning for summer 2017.
We have been busy helping Hillier Garden Centres with their Chelsea exhibit for this years’ show. Here’s our Facebook post:
We’ll post a full report very soon!
John recently started a new LinkedIn discussion regarding the use of herbicide against non-native aquatic plant species. Here’s what he wrote.
“Over the last 10 years most approved aquatic herbicides have been removed from the market. Now it would seem that Glyphosate is the next target to come into the sights of the EU legislators. I suspect that all environmentally conscious people would prefer not to be introducing chemicals into the environment unnecessarily. However, the potential loss of Glyphosate, which in the form of Roundup Pro Bio is deemed to be one of the safest products for use in or near water, would present us with real challenges, not the least being the control of non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Floating Pennywort to name but a few.
As a responsible company working in the field of water management and maintenance, Kingcombe Aquacare is keen to find alternative procedures if they exist, but for some of these pernicious plants, which are destroying our native habitat, often in SSSIs, spraying with Glyphosate is the only commercially viable means of control.
I would be interested to know where other Chartered Environmentalists stand on this issue, and whether there are alternative non-native invasive weed control strategies that are commercially viable and successful. Indeed, I would be keen to know where the Institute stands on this issue!”
The ramifications of potentially losing the last remaining effective herbicide are huge and will spark many discussions of how best to control infestations of these non-native plants
Public Natural Swimming Pools – Kings Cross, London
THE ASSIGNMENT: Creation of the UK’s First Public Natural Swimming Pool
As part of the 60-acre redevelopment of Kings Cross the property developers, Argent, were obliged to provide public realm art work to satisfy their planning obligations. The last of these was entitled ‘Of Soil and Water’ and was designed by Dutch Architects, Ooze and Slovenian artist Marjetica PotrČ. The rationale behind their concept was to create an urban oasis right in the heart of the building site.
“The waterfall and lake have been a great success and draw many favourable comments from our guests. They just look as if they have always been there.” – Private Client
Everyone at Kingcombe Aquacare is delighted to have been involved with the creation of the UK’s first public natural swimming pond, at King’s Cross in London, which is due to open soon as a piece of Land Art. The project has been getting a lot of media attention.
Kingcombe Aquacare have been contracted by the City of London to reline the Jubilee Pond on Wanstead Flats.
Looking after biodiversity at Birmingham Business Park
A specially-commissioned project for a very formal pond with a steel edge (painted black).
The pond holds 225,000 litres of water and is situated on a podium on the roof of a block of mixed commercial and residential flats. It was built to encourage biodiversity, harvest rainwater and improve the landscape.