An ode to sea swimming—looking at the architecture, history, and social significance of sea pools.
The sea can be challenging and changeable. Protected from the dangers of currents, crashing waves, and extreme cold, sea pools (also known as tidal or ocean pools) are manmade pools that provide a safe space for swimmers to enjoy the benefits of the sea at all states of the tide and weather.
Sea Pools begins with an introduction to sea pools within the history of outdoor swimming, their unique designs and architectural significance, and commentary on the resurgent appreciation for sea swimming in the twenty-first century. Chris Romer-Lee selects 70 of the most beautiful and culturally significant sea pools from around the world, including the 25-meter cliffside Avalon Rock Pool in new South Wales, Australia; the sublime Pozo de las Calcosas in Spain that is shrouded in volcanic rock; and Ireland’s historic Vico Baths, to name but a few. Sea Pools also includes four insightful essays: Nicola Larkin looks to the next generation of ocean pools in her exploration of how we can conserve, protect, and regenerate the coastline; Therese Spruhan testifies to the healing and transformative benefits of ocean swimming; Freya Bromley discusses her odyssey to swim in every sea pool in Britain; and Kevin Fellingham writes on the importance of sea pools in South Africa.
The book is illustrated throughout with beautiful color photography, as well as fascinating archive material to give an insight into the provenance of these vital sanctuaries.
About the Author
Chris Romer-Lee is the co-founder of the architecture practice Studio Octopi. He was splashing around in Lake Zurich when the idea for re-introducing swimming in the Thames was conceived as Thames Baths CIC. Now the practice is leading the way in developing ideas for the increased recreational use of the River Thames. Since 2013 he has spoken at TEDx KPMG, Centre for London 2015 Conference, Somerset House, V&A for London Design Festival, and many more. Romer-Lee teaches at London School of Architecture (LSA). Before this he taught at Kent University for two years, and has been a guest critic at Sheffield, Bath, and London Metropolitan Universities.