Proposed floating NYC beach would sit on reclaimed barge

Workshop/APD
© Workshop/APD

Manhattan is known for its diversity of food, shopping and architecture -- but now one local firm is hoping that the densely populated island will soon be famous for its riverside beach. But it won't be any ordinary land-based beach; the proposed City Beach NYC will be contained on a reclaimed barge that will float along the Hudson River, and aims to attract local residents who don't want to commute to outlying boroughs to have a summer beach experience.

Created by designer Blayne Ross in collaboration with Workshop/APD and Craft Engineering Studio, the scheme will also be a versatile public and retail space, with shopping, dining and even a marine science attraction on the lower level. A collection of sand dunes will mask a 16-foot tall supporting structure, allowing residents to get their fill of sand and urban sunbathing, minus the pigeons (we hope). The concept is to make the facilities free to all users, but operating capital will be generated through towel, chair, umbrella and cabana rentals, along with naming rights and retail tenant income.

© Workshop/APD

It won't be the first in the world; other riverine cities have been known for having floating pools on barges, but it would be a first floating beach for NYC. Also, according to Gizmag, Ross says that the project will use recycled materials wherever possible, and is looking to find ways to make it an off-grid operation. The waterfall shown in the renderings is supposed to help oxygenate the river's turbid waters.

Similar to + Pool, a river-filtering, floating pool out on the shores of Manhattan, City Beach NYC will be seeking $200,000 crowdfunding to make it a reality, hopefully by 2016.

From what we can tell, the only catch would be that there would only be sunbathing going on; there's no actual dipping in the river's waters (probably a good thing at this time).

© Workshop/APD

Could this seemingly outlandish idea garner support? After all, as NYC's waterfronts are indeed undergoing a much-needed revitalization, and as evidenced by the recent popular success of + Pool, it does seem that there might be room for another floating public amenity that would allow people to enjoy NYC's rivers. But no doubt a project with as much potential environmental impact as this will require further assessment; for more details and alerts, see City Beach NYC.

Tags: New York City | Recycling | Rivers