The Flussbad Berlin association are sick to death of walking around Berlin, so they’ve decided to turn the whole place into a giant, 750 meter swimming pool, one which will run alongside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Museum Island, in the historical centre of Berlin.
The idea of a swimming in Berlin’s city centre isn’t new or surprising at all. It’s natural, provocative, used to be common practice and has already been somewhat replicated; the Badeschiff, Eichenstraße 4 allows citizens to swim in a “sanitary environment” near the Spree river, resembling a sizeable lido, slap bang in the middle of the canal, with lights emanating from the surface.
Flussbad Berlin however, aim to reanimate the entire side-canal of the river Spree, between Schlossplatz and Bode-Museum, one of Berlin’s biggest underused brownfield areas and turn it into an all natural sustainable swimming pool, also known as a Flussbad.
Providing plans go ahead, the 750 meters of canal which runs along Fischer and Museum Island will be transformed into an underwater biotope, utilising a natural reed bed filter to purify river-water, feeding into a pool which stretches from the upcoming Humboldt-Forum via ‘Lustgarten’ all the way to the tip of Museum Island at the historic Bode-Museum.
Bringing Berlin into the 21st century does however present a few issues: the project does mean a fundamental re-evaluation of the river’s significance to the city, renewing antiquated relationships between the city and river from which it once grew; which seems like an inevitable sacrifice, considering the projects noble intentions.
The project stands for a sustainable, integrative, and considerate urban development, for an observant and intelligent approach to natural resources, and for a link between the historic city and the living present.
Adhering to a utopian ideology, Flussbad Berlin aim to adapt utilisation of river water so people can once again restore the ecological integrity of the river Spree.
Unfortunately, the plot of water currently belongs to the federal government, pending political and administrative permissions. Although the project is still in it’s conceptual stages, as of September, stands as one of only three projects submitted to the federal urban development funding program for consideration. Check out their website for up to date information.