Written by By Casey J. Carter, CNN
The world’s highest indoor, 360-degree infinity pool is set to open in Japan this month, inviting visitors to float around.
It’s the brainchild of Japanese designers and engineers Antara , who have designed and built a structure on the 36th floor of the tower at Shinsaibashi-Tokyo Disney Hotel.
Billed as the world’s first permanently waterproof 100 meters long water slide, the Mirai pools run the length of the building, with pools as far as 220 meters in length.
Featuring sweeping views of the skyline and waterways on the outskirts of the capital, it will also serve as a hotel lobby space, giving visitors access to the highest floors of the Disney Hotel.
“It’s been nearly ten years since we first launched Mirai for some inspiration,” Antara’s creator Moruji Uchida told CNN. “Working together with the Disney Group and getting an opportunity to bring that into reality felt like a great challenge.
Ride high without getting wet
Uchida, who established Antara in 2007 with his brother, says it took him more than a year to build. It was the first time he and his team had constructed a structure like Mirai, a first for the world’s tallest buildings.
“To build this complex was rather challenging,” he said. “We had to transfer all the water into the building from a source located on the roof of a nearby building.”
The make-shift pool was created from concrete tubes that were then lined with 200 meters of plastic. The plastic is able to cope with high temperatures of up to 58 degrees Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit).
Designed to be permanent and contain 7,000 liters of water, the Mirai pools feature a raised platform for guests to dangle off at the end of their drops. From the top of the restaurant, guests can watch the Marina Bay Sands visitor center and Harborside Tower, which are below.
Even with the view of towering skyscrapers, Uchida says the tower is safer than a swimming pool because of the shape of the water slide.
“When the slide begins to go through the building, the edge between the guests and the water is low enough that when they splash into the water, it gives minimal friction in that space,” he said.
To help keep the slide from soaking the walls, the carousel painted by Yoko Ono during the project, designed to be a “grotto” by Disney animators, was added.
“The color of the carousel inspired the rotation of the water,” Uchida said. “This made it hard to make the water flow off, but hard to stir the water up.”
An early start
While the Japanese winter is in full swing, the Mirai pools are opening to the public January 31, but those who want to take a ride don’t have to wait for several more weeks.
The entire project will be completed January 31, when they’ll be fully open to the public.
Uchida said the experience will take about 15 minutes to complete. “The walls will never be washed.”