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Forgotten Spaces: Second Place – The Pool by Scott Brownrigg

[CAMDEN] A public pool filling the disused tramway entrance at Kingsway

A vast outdoor urban pool is Scott Brownrigg’s proposal to bring the Kingsway Tramway Subway back into use. Built in 1905, the 52m open cutting was the entrance to the Holborn-to-Aldwych tunnel which linked the north and south of Kingsway and formed a vital part of London’s busy tram network.

The new aquatic oasis will reclaim the forgotten space with a dual-lane swimming pool with a spire diving board

When trams services were withdrawn in the 1950s, the tunnel was closed and, except for occasional use a film location, the Grade II-listed structure has been locked ever since.

The new aquatic oasis will reclaim the forgotten space with a dual-lane swimming pool and, at its deepest point, a 5m diving pool with a spire diving board. The 1:10 gradient to the tunnel slope means swimmer of all abilities will be able to use the pool, while new walkways provide scope for promenading and sun-bathing.

An intriguing feature for divers is the large-format glass panel which will be installed to seal the entrance of the existing subway tunnel at the halfway point. This will be lit, allowing them to glimpse the undeveloped portion of the tunnel and visually link them to the tunnel’s past.

Forgotten Spaces: All 20 shortlisted entries feature in a public exhibition at the National Theatre until 4 July

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