When the Olympic Delivery Authority for London 2012 could not find a pool lift (a device to assist disabled people to enter and exit a swimming pool) that satisfied their exacting requirements for functionality and accessibility, they launched an international competition to find the right design.

Poolpod Products LTD, a creative industrial design company based in Glasgow UK, took up the challenge and submitted their designs for the Poolpod, a unique submersible platform lift. The company’s innovative solution to the brief, adaptable industrial design skills, and progressive user-focused design philosophy ensured that the ODA selected them to develop their ideas.

Throughout the project the design team were exposed to numerous design challenges, but their ability to provide inventive design solutions (such as the hands free operation of the system) coupled with a robust and constructive partnership between client and design team helped maintain the momentum of the development process and ensured the functional and commercial success of the Poolpod.

Pool operators and end users have been universally positive about the design of the Poolpod whilst legislation and economics support the installation of it. Poolpod provides a new benchmark solution.

Quotes about the project

“This is an opportunity for London 2012 to provide the UK design industry with another platform to demonstrate their creativity. It is a challenging brief but I’m confident the UK has the expertise to develop an innovative solution that could potentially benefit disabled swimmers across the world.” – Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman John Armitt

“For the London 2012 Aquatic Centre to leave a truly lasting sporting legacy, it must be accessible to everyone. This design competition is an opportunity to innovate and find a design solution that could benefit not only users of the Aquatic Centre but could also be fitted at existing swimming pools across the country.” – Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Property Director