Plus Pool

Plus Pool (or “+ Pool”) is an initiative by a design trio to bring a cross-shaped floating swimming pool to New York’s East River. The proposed pool would be filled with water filtered from the river that it floats in.

The team — comprised of designers Dong-Ping Wong from FAMILY Architects, and Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin of PlayLab — came up with the idea after fantasising about swimming in the river during the swelteringly hot summer last year. But they recognized that the river is fairly polluted, so wanted to come up with a system that would allow people to swim in the river safely.

Having suggested the idea last June, there was a flood of interest from New Yorkers — swimmers, designers, engineers and community organisers. They also consulted with municipal and civic organizations to find out what kind of permits they would need to get the Plus Pool into the river.

Engineering firm Arup also contacted the team with the offer to donate resources. They spent the winter studying water quality, structural configurations, energy use, site potentials and the filtration system. By May 2011 they concluded that the project was, in fact, feasible.

The team is now asking for $25,000 on Kickstarter to fund the tests of the filtration materials and methods that they have studies. To build the full filtration assembly, however, they will need $250,000 and a full-scale mockup will require $500,000. The aim is to get the pool into the water by summer 2012.

Craig Covel, principal at Arup, said: “Is it really going to happen? Yes, of course it is, but we all need to get behind it. We need to make sure that we have people not only on the technical side but also from the government side for the permits and approvals. We’ve got the community saying yes they want it, but we need to get all of those other aspects behind it and then it will become a reality.”

At the time of writing, the team has raised just over $8,000. If you want to sponsor the concept, head over to their Kickstarter page.

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