[Y/N] studio: the lidoline in london by [Y/N] studio: the lidoline in london by
oct 05, 2012

[Y/N] studio: the lidoline in london by

the lidoline in london by [Y/N] studio

based out of the UK, [Y/N] studio is helping london’s canals curate existing forgotten or underused green spaces, kickstarting re-generation in their wake. built to originally carry materials across the length and breadth of london to places of industry, the systems have now lost their main purpose. being largely defunct with the canal becoming a place for leisure rather than a place of commerce, the project proposes the insertion of a clean, safe ‘basin’ for where to swim.

the ‘lidoline’ flips the regents water-way as it was originally intended, connecting raw materials (people/workers) to the place of production, making swimming a viable alternative to cycling or walking to work. the routes could be formed by a breathable, multi-layered membrane, filtering detritus and bacteria at decreasing scales. bio-diversity and cleanliness would be further improved by incorporating oxygenating reeds in key locations. the ‘lidoline’ would form a new network for london, making existing spaces greater than the sum of their parts, rather than blindly multiplying under-used, functionless green spaces.

  a lido station near a gasometer in hackney allows people to change/shower whilst also offering informal seating space.

  at night the lido stations could be transformed into popup cinemas/venues.

  in the winter months a thin gauze of material is inserted into the water, reducing its depth and allowing it to freeze, forming a new high speed ice-skating link through the capital.

scale map showing the extents of the lidoline.

abstract map showing the line in the context of london.

at key locations new outdoor lidos are formed allowing outdoor swimming competitions or recreational swimming

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication.
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  • This has to be the worst idea since Adolph Hitler decided to invade the soviet union. It is totally flawed in every respect. On examining the plans for this \” project \” one can see that just policing this after dark would require many police patrols due to anti social behavior. The very idea of peoples using this to commute to work via swimming in the British climate is an act of lunacy. Another thought is the cleanliness of the canals which are rife with Wells disease, shopping carts, detritus, used condoms, discarded cigarettes, beer cans and bottles, dead animals, the occasional undiscovered dead corpse, bikes, motor cycles, and general litter.

    The safety aspect is a massive flaw also. Not pictured in the designs are an obvious lack of safety rails during winter. These would pose an immense risk to the general public let alone a posing a health risk from the bacteria present in canal water. Another problem would be in the event of warmer winters whereby the canal does not properly freeze or the ice is to thin to skate on. Its stated that commuters would be able to \” swim \” to work but where would the swimmers store their clothes on route ? It is known that an average person can swim approx 2 miles per hour which would prove exhausting for any work before they actually start work. The wakes that barges and other pleasure craft produce would affect the sides of this construction thus creating wakes that will submerge it in dirty canal water.

    The idea of constructing an outside cinema also raises questions regarding winter use or in bad weather. The artists impressions/architects plans look like the work of a 15 year old schoolboy to put it mildly. Another serious problem is the use ( in bad taste ) of the popular London underground symbol.

    I fully endorse using the old waterway system but not in this context. I fully agree that these canals can work for the people of London however not in this way.

    This is a plan/idea that will require massive cash injection to develop which a vast majority comes from the tax payer. I am very sure/hope that this project will not be funded by the tax payer. I look forward to hearing any feed back and have included my Email address.

  • Ah, I had long forgotten my pleasant Sunday morning walks alongside the canal when I lived in London. I am afraid this proposal is a daydream and utopia. Fortyfatdwarfs explains accurately why this cannot be realized. One suggestion crossed my mind. Why not start to allow houseboats on the length of the canal? This will provide for a more safe environment. With house boats I mean proper floating houses, not the kind of long boats that are already present in some spots. It will be an oasis to live in. I can imagine them being moored on the other bank of the canal then the path for the general public.

    Airborne says:
  • Erm, I’m a boater in London. Who are you to say the canals are underused? They are very well used thanks and they are our home. How are we supposed to moor/get water/turn our boats once this is in place?

    What about the commercial trip boats and the community boats? Where are they supposed to go?

    What are you going to do about the very real threat of Weils disease Incase you didn’t know it’s really not advisable to have contact with the canal water of the Regents. Weils can and does kill.

    Jess says:
  • Hillarious.

    charlie harpoon says:
  • Certifiably idiotic.

    Ian the boater says:
  • This has been forwarded to an email list for boaters, where we all had a laugh at how stupid this is. To describe the canals as defunct, or think that a ‘multi layered membrane’ is going to prevent the spread of Weils disease just shows how massively ignorant Y/N studio must be. The term ‘vanity project’ comes to mind.

    rob says:
  • Canals are \’under-used\’?? No they are not. Lots of people live and work on the canals. We also pay for the privilage through license fees. The less \’land lubbers\’ on the canal the better in my opinion!!

    northerntracey says:
  • Absolute and utter lunacy!!!! I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn\’t in the middle of some surreal dream when I read this! Do they think for one minute that the locals are going to stop chucking in their unwanted rubbish as they do at the moment? I can envisage the outcry when some unsuspectig \”swimmer\” gets his belly ripped open by a shopping trolly! It would only be a matter of time before some very disgruntled boater vandalised it with a gallon of diesel because of his right to moor/turn/stop, was compromised. The people who came up with this hair-brained scheme obviously know absolutely nothing about canals, their environment and how they work etc.

    bazthegas says:
  • Hello all, there are a few things to consider here before we get ahead of ourselves. Firstly this proposal was intended for an ideas competition hence “never to be built”. It should be judged as a conceptual proposal as opposed to a practical solution. There are things that are wrong with it, perhaps that is why we came second.. Our thought process, which has been edited here was intended to celebrate and reininvigorate the canals which have been in steady decline since the 1940s. They remain as predominantly recreactional facilities for the community as opposed to the industrial arteries of the city that they once were. By introducing a swimming lane we are encouraging a debate about the future of the canals in their current under(use). We have more than achieved our aim an the story has since travelled the globe. We really hope that people do not feel threatened by our idea and embrace it with the spirit in which it is intended. Our feeling is that most have understood and enjoyed the iexagerated mages but for those that haven’t or have worried about the practicalities please rest easy in the knowledge that there is currently no more funding for this project than for the majority of the other proposals on this and similar architecture blogs.

    Alex Smith [Y/N] Studio says:

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