It is meant to be a boundary-busting punch for the sky. But this design for a rooftop London pool is just another high-rise ego gimmick
In 1924, Buster Keaton approached the Life magazine film critic Robert E Sherwood, to write a script set on an under-construction New York skyscraper. In it, Keatons character is showing the architects daughter the views from the top when a strike is called, workers down tools, power is cut from the lift and the pair find themselves stranded. Like a modernist Robinson Crusoe, the plot then follows the pair trying to get attention from people in nearby buildings to no avail before building a shelter, and developing strategies to catch rainwater to drink and pigeons to eat.
It came to mind today when I saw the CGI renders of Infinity Pool, a speculative-proposal-cum-clickbait-marketing-stunt from swimming pool designer Compass Pools. The alluring images show the entire roof of an unnamed central-London tower given over to an infinity pool, with no apparent means of escape, as if the digital people are in some kind of sublime prison cell for the super rich. We are assured there is in fact a way in and out, courtesy of a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor, and that this is an entirely buildable proposition that includes an inbuilt anemometer to vary the water level and access to the pool.