Swimming Inside an Optical Illusion: Prototype Pool Debuts at Beijing's Water Cube

Relief is coming for China's notoriously hot summers in the form of a new mobile public swimming pool that debuted on Tuesday right outside the National Aquatics Center.

Called "edgeless" for its lack of distinguishing features, the mobile pool is a semi-permanent structure that can be built in any public space. Requiring less than a month to build and between three and five days to dismantle, the design for the above-ground swimming tank is the intellectual property of the Water Cube.

Unveiled on National Fitness Day, the mobile pool is expected to be built in communities throughout China.

Designed for children and beginner swimmers, the 1.2 meter-deep swimming pool can accommodate 150 people at a time. The 25 meter-long, 15 meter-wide pool is said to be fully cleaned in two hours by its a diatomite filter, a low-cost, highly-effective system that has a filtration rate of 99.5 percent for bacteria and E. Coli.

READ: Throwback Thursday: Beijing's Water Cube Turns Nine, and Might Soon Become the Ice Cube

Despite its mobility, this particular prototype isn't expected to go anywhere. Planned to be open to the public from June 15 to September 15 on an annual basis, the outdoor pool will gain a reflective canopy next year. During the off-season, the outdoor space may be used for winter sports, while the Water Cube water park continues to be open year-round.

We don't know if aunties across China will welcome these new pools to their public squares, but we imagine that square dancing is just as feasible in chest-high water.

And even though these mobile pools will soon be seen throughout the country, we think its crisp aesthetics make it a perfect addition to the Olympic facilities in the area. Compared with the natural-looking rigidity of the Bird's Nest to the north and the soft "pillows" of the Water Cube beside it, the edgeless pool complements its neighbors with clean reflections.

It's not quite an M.C. Escher drawing, but the new outdoor Water Cube pool may be the closest we get to swimming inside an optical illusion.

More stories from this author here.

Twitter: @Sinopath
E-mail: charlesliu1@qq.com

Images: China News, Weibo (1, 2, 3)

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