+ Pool / Family and PlayLab in collaboration with Arup

© , PlayLab

A 30-day Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the continued development of + Pool is underway. From the creative minds at Family and PlayLab, + Pool is a collaboration to design a floating riverwater pool for everyone in the rivers of . Beginning the next phase of the project, material testing and design, the online fundraising campaign hopefully will raise the initial $25,000 needed to begin physically testing the filtration membranes providing results to determine the best filtration membranes and methods to provide clean and safe riverwater for the public to swim in.  A preliminary engineering feasibility report was initially conducted by Arup New York, which assessed the water quality, filtration, structural, mechanical and energy systems of + Pool.

Family and PlayLab launched a Kickstarter online fundraising campaign this month with the ultimate goal of generating enough support to prototype the filtration system by building a full-scale working mockup of the one section of + Pool. Research, design, testing and development will continue through the year in conjunction with permitting, approvals and building partnerships with community, municipal, commercial and environmental organizations.

Donation levels for the Kickstarter campaign range from $1 to $10,000 with the hope that everyone interested in cleaner public waterways can get involved. Donors can choose from a variety of incentives and gear up for a day at the pool.  For more information about the project and the campaign or to donate click here.  Or write to info@pluspool.org.

Follow the break for more details about this project and the history of floating pools in New York City, which date back to the early 19th century.

© Family, PlayLab

EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH A POOL

+ Pool is the collaborative initiative of design studios Family and PlayLab to build a floating pool for everyone in the rivers of New York City. The project was launched with the ambition to improve the use of the city’s natural resources by providing a clean and safe way for the public to swim in New York’s waters.

As both a public amenity and an ecological prototype, + Pool is a small but exciting precedent for environmental urbanism in the 21st Century.

NYC + POOL

+ Pool is for you, for your friend, for your mom, for your dad, for your girlfriend, for your kids, for your boss, for your bartender, for your tamale guy, for your other girlfriend, for New York City, for everyone.

An offshore reflection of the city intersection, + Pool both exemplifies the dense, busy character of New York City and offers an island retreat from it.

© Family, PlayLab

HISTORY + POOL

Floating pools have paralleled the development of New York City dating back to the early 19th Century. When the city’s elite used lower Manhattan as a resort in the 1800s floating spas were located just off the Battery. After the Civil War the huge influx of immigrants required bathhouses in the Hudson and East Rivers as many were without proper bathing facilities in their homes. In the early 1900s improved plumbing infrastructure and increasing water quality concerns closed the last of the river-borne pools, relocating aquatic leisure activities to more sanitized and inland sites.

In 1972, the Clean Water Act set forth the goal of making every body of water in the country safe for recreation, and in 2007 the Floating Pool Lady – a reclaimed barge now located in the Bronx – brought back the first semblance of New York’s floating pool culture in almost a Century.

Today, as the appreciation for our city’s natural resources becomes increasingly crucial, a permanent floating pool in the river will help restore the water culture so integral to New York City.

© Family, PlayLab

EVERYONE + POOL

+ Pool should be enjoyed by everyone, at all times, which is why it’s designed as four pools in one: Children’s Pool, Sports Pool, Lap Pool and Lounge Pool. Each pool can be used independently to cater to all types of swimmers, combined to form an Olympic-length lap pool, or opened completely into a 9,000 square foot pool for play.

WATER + POOL

The most important aspect of + Pool’s design is that it filters river water through the pool’s walls – like a giant strainer dropped into the river.

The concentric layers of filtration materials that make up the sides of the pool are designed to remove bacteria, contaminants and odors, leaving only safe and swimmable water that meets city, state and federal standards of quality.

PARK + POOL

Its universally recognizable shape and unusual offshore siting immediately position + Pool as a iconic piece of public infrastructure.

Whether as a compliment to a thriving park or catalyst for a growing one, the pool can serve as a destination for weekend visitors, an island haven for busy locals, and a symbol for the surrounding neighborhood.

© Family, PlayLab

TEAM + POOL

After the launch of + Pool in the summer of 2010, Family and PlayLab began meeting with waterfront organizations, engineers, urban planners, environmental experts, public and private developers and community organizations to build a team to push the project forward. Likeminded institutions like The Metropolitan Waterfront Association, NYC Swim and the Department of Parks and Recreation have all been integral in shaping both the design and process of the pool itself.

The + Pool team has been working with renowned engineering firm Arup New York to study the filtration, structural, mechanical and energy systems of the pool as well as the water quality conditions and regulations necessary for the project. The team recently completed a preliminary engineering feasibility report in preparation for the material and methods testing phase.

© Family, PlayLab

NEXT + POOL

Following the completion of the preliminary engineering report done in collaboration with Arup, the + Pool team is now moving into the phase of material testing to assess and determine the best filtration membranes and methods to provide clean and safe riverwater for the public to swim in.

Family and PlayLab launched a Kickstarter online fundrasing campaign in June of 2011 with the ultimate goal of generating enough support to prototype the filtration system by building a full-scale working mockup of the one section of + Pool.

Research, design, testing and development will continue through the year in conjunction with permitting, approvals and building partnerships with community, municipal, commercial and environmental organizations.

Cite: Minner, Kelly. "+ Pool / Family and PlayLab in collaboration with Arup" 29 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Nov 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=144809>
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  • Bopp

    In the presentation the importance of cleaning the river water, to use for swimming, is quite dominant.
    My question is if it is as relevant as presented. Would it be possible to swim in the river although the water is clean? Isn’t the stream already too strong?

    The idea is, although not new, cool and exciting, let’s have a floating pool in the river where we can safely swim in (of course) river water. As we’re in the river, it would be stupid not to use the water. It gives a sense of freedom.

    The form of it is, although rational, not very appealing. Not to say boring. I have totally different associations with this cross. The tetris way example of connecting in between buildings seems ridiculous and not very realistic.

    Back to the water(and I warn you as I might be starting to sound a bit whiny). As the ‘sustainability’ is presented in such a strong way, where it seems it has an important symbolic value, there could be a good effect out of this symbolism and a bad effect:

    1. The good effect is, except for the fun, it reminds you the river water is not clean enough to just swim in it. So we need to clean it.

    2. The bad effect is, it reminds you that all the river water around you is too filthy, chemically polluted etc etc, to swim in it. Basically we’re in the middle of a contaminated stream and you don’t know what happens when you get in contact with it. But because of these pools we don’t need to clean it, we can swim anyway.

    Basically what I’m trying to say is that the symbolism could be working the other way around, the symptoms of the problem are treated but it won’t be cured. And sustainability should be a normal thing in stead of a special feature.

    The main importance is that we can have fun and exercise on a cool location with an innovative solution to use the river water. Indeed it will give the New Yorker more contact with the river, the natural resource, which would never have been accessible.

    But let’s not forget to get this river cleaned up, it’s possible, look at Kopenhagen.

  • Toba

    This reminds me of one of Rem Koolhaas ideas, but he made them 30 years ago in some very artistic drawing, just full of methaphors with other painting , etc. I dont preciselly remember the name, and there was something about and old painting resamblance, but I definetelly can say that SOME IDEAS THAT MIGHT SEEM RIDICULOUS OR USELESS, SOMETIMES TRASCEND THROUGH TIME, and they become REALITY. Again my admiration for an architect that as a person i dislike, but that his work allways somehow impreses me.

  • http://riverpool.org Nancymcy

    There is a pool in the Hudson River in Beacon. It is called River Pool, this will be the sixth year it has been open. It is s smaller pool, which is suppose to be a prototype. The organization now has a design for a larger pool which we are trying to find a suitable place in the river for (and raise funds for). Please go to riverpool.org for more info and to find out about our upcoming anual Swim Across the Hudson fundraiser on July 27th (10th annual). Thanks, good luck!