Architecture and design that could actively clean and rehabilitate polluted environments is certainly something to get excited about. New York City's proposed +Pool is one recent example. Now Prague may have a similar pool structure that will act like a giant floating strainer to clean its contaminated river -- so that residents can once again swim in it.
Designed by the Czech engineer-architect team of Ondrej Lipensky and Andrea Kubna, the pool project is envisioned as a floating oasis on the Vltava, the Czech Republic's lengthiest river.
According to Co.Design, the riverfront has been revitalized to the point where real estate has become quite valuable, leading the two designers to suggest a project that will help reinstate the river back to its former glory as a popular swimming and skating venue, before industrial pollution took its toll.
But instead of taking up coveted land area, Kubna and Lipensky propose to create a floating recreational island that will also purify the water. Accessible by boat which will ferry pool-goers at intervals, the floating structure will have a 9,000 square foot pool outfitted with textile membranes capable of filtering the river's waters. In addition, there will be a separate kiddie pool, saunas, steam rooms, cabin beds, toilets, showers -- and yes, a bar.
Although the river last froze more than half a century ago, the designers have also allowed for the possibility of skating on the pool's surface, by adding wood slats and a thin layer of water on top that can be left to freeze.
Going beyond mere shelter, it's an intriguing idea to incorporate rehabilitative functions and pollution-sucking materials into our buildings, leading us closer to a kind of "living" or "genetic" architecture that responds to its environment, much like an organism would. For more information on this project, check out Andrea Kubna's website.