Clear-bottomed swimming pool atop skyscraper

Swimmmmmm This cantilevered clear-bottomed swimming pool is on the 24th floor of the Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao. (via CNN)


  1. Normally when I swim in a pool I don’t wear any goggles or mask of any kind, with the result being that my underwater view is usually pretty blurry. And that’s fine–normally there’s nothing to see, and even with blurry vision I can spot a dime that someone else dropped.

    Here, though, I’d want to make an exception, because, as frightened as I am of heights, I think there’d be something thrilling about seeing the view all the way down.

    1. Also, it would be like swimming in very clear ocean water – you don’t worry about falling to the bottom. 

  2. I couldn’t even stand on the clear floor in the CN tower without getting completely freaked out.  Not sure my shaky relationship with heights could cope with this one.

    1. I finally did it, but it took me about 10 minutes to work up the courage. It didn’t help at all to see the 7 year old kids jumping up and down on it.

      1. Saw the same thing at the CN tower – kids jump on the glass. Although it’s pretty cool when the Blue Jays are playing 800 ft below and the blimp is sail past at eye level. 

  3. As much as I understand the physics… I still couldn’t bring myself to get in that pool.


    1. You are right, it’s the Eureka Tower It has a glass box called “The Edge”, which can be projected out of the building. The glass is first opaque, but then turns clear when it’s fully extended. I haven’t been in the box itself (too expensive), but it looked pretty fun.

      1. Nah, I didn’t mean that rip-off, I’m thinking of an actual swimming pool like this one that predates the Eureka Tower by at least a couple of decades.

  4. C’mon!  I wish they’d made it bigger.  How many other places in the world would swimming feel so much like flying?

    1. Anywhere else at all.

      Swimming already gives you three dimensions to move around in. Just don’t go too deep and get too cold or tired.

      What’s more, flying unlike swimming comes, rapidly, with a landing at the end. How hard a landing depends on how high and how much control you exert.

      1. Piffle.  Swimming feels like swimming, with naught beneath you save gunite or maybe some coral and fish.  How often would you get to gaze down at window-washers, traffic, and pedestrians a couple hundred feet below?

  5. When I saw the summary in my RSS feed, my tired eyes read it as “Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudding Kangaroo.”

  6. This is the kind of showy engineering that has the potential to go disastrously wrong, and for what?  Put your swimming pool on the ground floor, people can use the elevator to get there.

    Hey architects,  if you are going to keep developing stupid-looking buildings, how about a hotel that looks like a Christmas tree, with the hotel rooms swinging from branches like baubles.  You could charge outrageous amounts of money to stay there, with the bonus of awesome youtube videos when the chains break.


      They don’t have to live in the monstrosities they can usually justify to their clients, (who also don’t have to live in them, so what do they care? [The Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino – Singapore has a suite with those great, though they can be god awful, “Infinity Pools” which is an abomination..])

      The most dangerous thing in the world is an architect with an idea. It can result in multi-generational horrors.

      Le Corbusier snagged a commission to design a city. The result was Brasília; a city on the most monumental and inhuman scale imaginable. The humblest shack of a trabalhadores employed in the construction is a more valuable real-estate investment in the area because Brasília isn’t fit for human beings.

      A doctor can always bury his mistakes.

      An architect can only suggest that the client plant vines.

      1. Aw, you’re just allergic to whimsy.  Would you have us all live in boring, identical Brutalist cubes with no embellishment or ornamentation whatsoever?

        Betcha don’t like treehouses either.  :^P

        1. From the Wiki link above for the guy:

          Throughout the years, many architects worked for Le Corbusier in his studio, and a number of them became notable in their own right, including painter-architect Nadir Afonso, who absorbed Le Corbusier’s ideas into his own aesthetics theory. Lúcio Costa’s city plan of Brasília and the industrial city of Zlín planned by František Lydie Gahura in the Czech Republic are notable plans based on his ideas, while the architect himself produced the plan for Chandigarh in India.

          1. Costa was an urban planner.  Niemeyer is the architect.  Le Corbusier was a consultant or partner in some of their earlier projects.

      2. Le Corbusier, who did not design Brasilia, did design Chandigarh, which is considered a desirable place to live (unlike Brasilia.)

      3. “The most dangerous thing in the world is an architect with an idea.”

        Second most dangerous thing:  somebody with no ideas . . .

    2. That goes well with my idea to have Rem Koolhaus design a honeymoon hotel shaped like a couple engaged in intercourse.

  7. I have a very serious and irrational fear of heights. Pretty sure it’s wouldn’t matter after a minute or two as I’d foul myself so badly there that the water would be too murky to see much afterwards!

    You’re all welcome for that image! =P

    1. There’s nothing irrational about a fear of heights. If you fall from them, the sudden stop at the end can kill you. Irrational fears go with things like cotton balls and marshmallows.

      1.  I feel this is irrational (for me) as I haven’t had a great fall yet it interferes with my being able to do things I’d like to. Cross bridges, enjoy the view from place that are high up, etc. It’s frustrating.

  8. So, something like this will end up in a modern murder mystery, right? Because that’s the first idea that popped into my head.

    Why are you all backing away?

  9. I’m sure a lot of people’s first thought was

    “Fifty caliber Barrett rifle – Boom! Flush!”

  10. Look! Up in the sky!  It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a hairy fat man in a Speedo!

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