New York Plus Pool - Hero

The measure of: +Pool

Image credit: Cover Images

New York authorities have agreed on plans to develop a rather unusual landmark: an Olympic-length public pool floating in the city’s East River.

The +Pool project (pronounced ‘pluspool’), will see a public swimming pool feature on a floating island in the East River, New York. Layers of filtration membranes will make the water safe for swimming while simultaneously cleaning the surrounding river, according to project organisers, who say the pool will clean 600,000 US gallons (2,300m3) of river water every day.

The pool will be shaped like a plus sign, where its four arms will serve different purposes: a children’s pool, a sports pool, a lap pool, and a lounge pool. It will accommodate up to 300 people at a time, with a proposed daily capacity of 1,800 visitors, its developers have said.

New York Plus Pool - Inline

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Birthed in 2010, the project is a collaboration between design firm PlayLab and the co-founders of the now-defunct New York architecture practice Family. The designers have since consulted with engineers and naval architects to improve the pool’s design, with the project attracting backing from high-profile figures including Kanye West and actor Neil Patrick Harris.

The team behind +Pool has already tested its filtration technology in another New York locale: the Hudson River. In 2014, project organisers launched a small-scale version of the pool, called ‘Float Lab’, to see how it performed in real-life river conditions. Here, the designers partnered with scientists at Columbia University and engineering firm Arup to test the technology, and concluded that it could “filter river water to pool-quality standards without using chemicals”.

Beyond funding, there are still several logistical hurdles for the project to overcome, its designers stated, such as protecting the pool from floating debris during storms and operating during the winter months. At present, +Pool is slated to stay open for just 15 weeks of the year. The project designers have also said they are exploring the use of solar energy to heat the pool for swimmers in cold weather.

Vital statistics

Total width: 66m

Total depth: 3.5m

Total area: 2,895m2

Pool volume: 285,500 US gallons

Pool area: 880m2

Pool depth: 1.5m

Pool length (Olympic): 50m

Pool width: 10m, four lanes

Max pool capacity: 300 people

Max capacity per day: 1,800

Max capacity per season: 189,000

Total Length: 66m

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