Concept for a floating public swimming pool & beach at Regatta Point, Canberra. <i> Illustration: Jayme Collins </i>

Concept for a floating public swimming pool & beach at Regatta Point, Canberra. Illustration: Jayme Collins

It's one of those crazy ideas that could easily be written off as the result of madness inspired by Canberra's hottest summer in years.

But local building designer Jayme Collins said a beach pool in Lake Burley Griffin is just what Canberra needs to “activate” the capital's public spaces.

The idea was spawned while Collins was chatting with a mate after returning from a trip north.

The floating public swimming pool & beach would be at Regatta Point. <i> Illustration: Jayme Collins </i>

The floating public swimming pool & beach would be at Regatta Point. Illustration: Jayme Collins

“I'd just been to Sydney and I was saying Canberra really needs a beach, really needs somewhere for people to just hang out in boardies, have a swim,” Collins said.

“I remembered I'd been to Berlin during the year, and they've got a similar concept, and I'd seen before on the net that they're proposing a similar thing in New York on the Hudson River.”

Using those ideas and images from the other side of the world, as well as his experience in design, Collins cobbled together the concept, and put it up on his Facebook page to generate some conversation.

The pool would sit in the lake.  <i> Illustration: Jayme Collins </i>

The pool would sit in the lake. Illustration: Jayme Collins

The fledgling idea includes a pool connected by a series of large terraces with outdoor seating, bar and a live music area, and would also use the grassy hill as a gathering point. Collins said the walls of the pool could be made of a filtering membrane that would make the lake water safe for swimming.

Thirty-year-old Collins grew up in Canberra, but has spent the past seven years living overseas and on the west coast of Australia. He said the idea was inspired by his travels, and by what he sees as a need to refocus the public spaces in the heart of the capital.

“It just really would promote one of the best assets Canberra has, which is the lake. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Australia, and you've got all the public buildings surrounding there, but we just don't seem to use it enough,” Collins said.

“With this idea, during summer, like you'd go to the beach, you'd go and spend the day there, there's possibly food available, there's drinks, there's music – it's kind of got like a Bondi Beach kind of feel.”

Collins said he had been to a similar pool in the River Spree in Berlin. The Badeschiff (translated as bathing ship) allows people to swim in what is an otherwise-polluted river.

“In Berlin, because it's a land-locked city itself, and the river that runs through Berlin – there's restaurants and bars and a lot of things along the edge of the river that really activate it, and the pool is one of those things.

“They've adapted to the fact that they don't have a beach and they've thought let's create one, let's use it.”

The Regatta Point concept at the moment is nothing more than a conversation-starter, Collins said, drawing on designs from Berlin and New York. But he said if there was enough conversation he may seek a larger firm to go into collaboration with him and explore the viability of the concept.