+ POOL, designed by Family New York & PLAYLAB, INC. Rendering by Luxigon
A plan to build a swimming pool on the East River is finally moving forward after being in the works for over a decade. In an Instagram post published on Saturday, the nonprofit +POOL announced the group had received confirmation from the city to proceed with due diligence on their project: a floating, self-filtering pool on the south side of Pier 35 on the Lower East Side.
A “dumpster pool” opened on Park Avenue in 2010 as part of the city’s Summer Streets initiative, courtesy of NYC DOT on Flickr
Last year, New York City public beaches and pools did not open until July because of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, city comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer wants to make sure New Yorkers from all boroughs can enjoy the summer season by making pools, beaches, and the city’s waterfront more accessible. In a proposal announced on Tuesday, Stringer called on the city to bring a series of pop-up pools to Open Streets and vacant lots in neighborhoods that lack green space.
Rendering of + POOL Light. Designed by PlayLab and Family New York. Image courtesy Friends of + POOL
Designed by PLAYLAB, INC. and Family New York in collaboration with Floating Point, a new project from the team behind the +POOL concept makes it possible for anyone to visualize water conditions in NYC’s Harbor using a light installation and an interactive website. The 50-foot x 50-foot plus-shaped “+POOL Light” is installed at the Seaport District at Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17, continuously changing color based on the condition of the water in which it floats, from great for swimming to not-so-great. The installation debuted last night and will be on view until January 3rd.
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, Thu, September 19, 2019
Rendering by Family New York, Courtesy of Friends of +POOL
Swimming in the East River may once again become a reality. The city’s Economic Development Corporation is seeking ideas for a floating pool that would filter the water of the East River to allow for safe swimming, according to a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) released Wednesday. A similar idea was first announced in 2010 by the nonprofit +POOL, which has been working with the city for years, as THE CITY first reported. The pool would likely be built between the north side of Brooklyn Bridge and the south side of Pier 35 on the Lower East Side, according to the request.
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A floating pool with its own river-cleaning filtration system is coming to New York City, but it has yet to find a home. The $20 million +POOL project was first announced in 2010 and originally was meant to open by this summer. However, as DNAInfo reported, the team is still working with the city to find a site for its plus-shaped swimming pool that will include four pools in one; a kiddie pool, sports pool, lap pool and a lounge pool. The pool is designed to filter the river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, allowing New Yorkers to take a dip in river water.
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Renderings by PlayLab, courtesy of +POOL.
Seven years ago the team behind +POOL floated the fanciful–but completely fun–sounding idea of building a pool submerged in NYC’s East River that would filter the polluted waterway in addition to being a cool-off spot for New Yorkers. Curbed reports that though the official line is that all options are still being looked at, project designers hope the city will allow +POOL to be located off a pier at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
More the floating pool’s progress and new renderings this way
Yesterday, 6sqft uncovered conceptual renderings for a nine-acre island/pier in the Hudson River that would serve as a final terminus for the High Line. It would be a circular-shaped cultural and recreational center, dotted with five interconnected pyramid-shaped buildings, as well as an elevated promenade and a marina. It’s quite similar in design and theory to Barry Diller’s proposed Pier 55 floating park, which is planned for a Hudson River site slightly farther south in the Meatpacking District. And then there’s the + Pool, a massive public pool proposed for the East River.
Pier 55, the futuristic, $130 million park and performance space, already has a lease deal and $113 million in funding in place, but it was slapped with a lawsuit saying those involved have failed to throughly evaluate the environmental impact of the park. Which brings us to our question — is this new model the future of public space in NYC? In an urban setting where every square inch of space is at a premium, floating parks certainly are a creative alternative, but are the logistics ultimately too complicated?
Images: Hub on the Hudson via Eytan Kaufman (above); Pier 55 via Heatherwick Studio/Mathews Nielsen (L); + Pool (R)
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Images: Cobble Hill’s Trader Joe’s flag via Google Maps (L); Cinnabon’s classic roll via Wikipedia (R)