Bringing a Floating Pool to NYC's East River, Filled With Filtered River Water


All Images Courtesy of + Pool

Last summer, we introduced the + Pool, a one of a kind idea to build a floating pool in New York City's East River, filled with filtered river water. Since then, the + Pool team has been busy turning what back then seemed like a long shot into a reality. And they've come a long way in a year: they've teamed up with engineering firm Arup and have launched Kickstater campaign to fund the transition from designing it to building it.


+ Pool is the brainchild of Dong-Ping Wong of F A M I L Y Architects and Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin of PlayLab. The trio first had the idea in the midst of a particularly hot summer in the city, and envision the pool as a way for New Yorkers to reconnect with the water that surrounds them.

But beyond the nobility of the idea and the undeniable sweetness of the renderings lies the question: can it be built? After spending the winter studying water quality, energy use, potential sites, the filtration system and necessary permits, the + Pool team is confident. "But is it really gonna happen?" asks Craig Covil, a principal at Arup. "Yes of course it will happen, but we need to get behind it."

So now the next step is to build and test the filtration system that cleans the river water before allowing it to fill the pool. That's where the Kickstarter campaign comes in. The team is looking to raise at least $25,000, which will allow them to see how the primary, and most crucial, filtration layer works. But they're hoping for much more: for $500,000, they can build a full-scale mockup of part of the pool, to present to the public. Check out their pitch:

After that will come the undoubtedly mind-numbing process of navigating the jungle of permits that building a floating pool in the East River would require.

It's a flashy, striking project, but it begs the question: is it the best way to connect New Yorkers with the water? Is there not an easier solution, one less expensive and that would allow more people to enjoy its benefits? There's no doubt that getting the eye candy + Pool in the water is a popular, laudable project, but it's just one pool, in a city of 8 million. A simpler solution is usually better, but someone has to find it first.



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More on New York City's waterways:
Grand Schemes To Pave New York's Rivers Could Solve A Lot of Problems
Re-Envisioning New York to Combat Sea-Level Rise
NYC Has Big Plans For Its Waterfront
Tidal Turbine Project in New York City's East River Gets a Face Lift

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