Three designers are floating a big idea to install public swimming pools in New York City’s Hudson and East rivers. New York architects and idea hamsters Dong-Ping Wong of FAMILY and Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin of PlayLab Inc. propose two + Pool floating swimming pools with walls containing filtration materials that will screen out pollutants and allow users to safely swim in the two rivers passing on either side of Manhattan island. The 9,000-square-foot pool design, shaped like a plus sign to offer four options—children’s pool, sports pool, lap pool and lounge pool—opens up a whole new possibility for outdoor recreation in one of the most populous cities in the world.
The three-layer filtration wall would include primary screening (for wildlife, floating debris, grease, oil, sediments and suspended solids); secondary filtration (for smaller suspended solids, organic matter, algae and bacteria); and disinfection (for microorganisms, bacteria and viruses). The + Pool team began with fundraising to test the filtration media and build a full-scale mock-up of the filtration wall to demonstrate the possibilities to officials. Architect Meta Bruzema created the first floating pool in New York City in 2008 to celebrate the recovery of the polluted Hudson River, but the round 20-foot circumference River Pool was a much smaller project. Time will tell whether the grand scale + Pool concept holds water.