A floating pool in the East River: two years ago it was but a dream of a four-pools-in-one, 9,000-square-foot urban swimming hole. Today it's?well, still a dream, but one that looks likely to come true. We called up Dong-Ping Wong of Family, which, along with PlayLab, is the architecture firm behind the +Pool concept, for an update on the project. To put a positive spin on it, there's time to implement any pre-bathing suit workout regimens?dive-in is still a few years away. Here's why:
Kickstarter backers were quick to embrace the idea of +Pool, but the architects still need plenty of approvals from city and state agencies, and meeting with them has been the architects' winter/spring project. The meetings, Wong explains, usually begin with bureaucrats' saying, "'Oh, you guys are cute, congratulations on a good idea.'" But "45 minutes in, there's a marked change?there's always this switch from being overly critical to being supportive." One department's chief engineer "literally asked what I was doing with my life, did my parents know what I was doing with my time," Wong says. But once she watched the actual project video, "you could hear her under her breath saying, 'oh, this is actually pretty cool.'"
There are still a couple of engineering and environmental challenges that the team has to work out before the pool can hit the river. Traffic in the river itself causes waves that could move the pool around, so the team will need to figure out whether there are tethers that will allow the pool to glide up and down with the waves. Then there's an ecological issue: shade. "There's a belief that shade has an adverse effect to ecology," Wong explains, "so we're looking at ways of either bringing light down below the pool or having the pool be mobile enough that we're not shading any one spot for too long." A floating floating pool? +Pool plus?
Assuming the permit process goes as quickly as possible?which means it could take anywhere from six months to a year and a half?+Pool could open as early as summer 2014. If the permit process takes longer, that'll be pushed back to summer 2015. In the meantime, Team +Pool will need to gather additional funds, and the next funding round, planned for the end of July to coincide with the Olympics, will target investors as well as members of the public. Hey, we'll take a sponsored floating pool over no floating pool.
· Official website: +Pool [pluspool.org]
· Updates from +Pool: East River, Water Filtration, Fecal Matter [Curbed]
· East River Floating Pool Concept Now Closer to Reality [Curbed]