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Designers Get Closer to Goal of Constructing Floating Pool in East River

By Janet Upadhye | May 13, 2013 4:55pm
 + POOL "will filter bacteria and contaminants through the walls of the pool itself - like a giant strainer dropped into the rivers - leaving only clean, safe and swimmable river water."
Everybody Plus Pool
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DUMBO — Could a swim in the East River be a relaxing enjoyable experience and not the horror-inducing pool of rodents, bacteria, waste and Hepatitis A that most people imagine?

A trio of New York designers thinks so.

Dong-Ping Wong of Family Architects, PlayLab's Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin dream of building a plus-shaped pool that floats in the East River and has a filtration system that strains out river water gunk and leaves behind safe and swimmable water.

"As a New Yorker, you spend most of your time on an island surrounded by water, and when it gets as sweltering hot as it does in New York, you naturally start fantasizing about swimming in the river," the team wrote on its Kickstarter page.  "But the rivers here aren’t the cleanest and swimming in them isn’t necessarily the best idea. We wanted to do something that could change that."

Nearly two years since the idea's inception, the team has come a long way. They have raised over $40,000 on Kickstarter, worked with Columbia University professors to test filtration materials in the East River, partnered with innovative engineering firm Arup, and gained the support of city and state agencies and waterfront advocacy organizations.

Now they just need to raise more cash to create a mock-up of the plan and test the waters.

With $500,000, creators hope to "build a full-scale mock-up of a piece of the pool, water filtration and all, to present to the public, to the city, to everyone." 

The visionary designers recently wooed audiences with their schemes at Architizer's Pitch The City event. After hearing five ideas, a packed venue of designers, city employees, reporters and technology enthusiasts voted for Plus Pool as the most exciting new design.

The team has dubbed the pool "Everybody + Pool" for its shape, which would allow for four pools — a kid's pool, sports pool, lap pool and lounge pool — in each of the plus symbol's arms.

If funding comes through and all goes according to plan, construction could begin as soon as August of next year.

To find out more check out the Everybody + Pool website.