Floating Pool Scheme for Brooklyn Bridge Park Gaining Traction

A proposal to build a permanent floating pool is gaining traction as its designers attempt to raise funds, via Kickstarter, to test filtration methods needed to build the project.  Watch their pitch video after the jump.

Brooklyn Eagle: Dong-Ping Wong from the firm Family New York, and Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin of PlayLab thought of the idea during last year’s blazing hot summer. They collaborated with engineering firm Arup New York to design the pool, which they call “+Pool.” ….

This is not as easy as it sounds because different cleanliness standards exist — one for natural swimming areas like beaches, and a stricter standard for public swimming pools. +Pool falls into a new, never-before regulated area because it is basically a floating “giant strainer” dropped into the river, Wong said. Water filtration membranes are built into the walls of the pool to filter contaminated river water into clean, swimmable pool water.

As part of the testing phase, the team has launched a Kickstarter (a popular fundraising site) web page to raise the money needed to build and test a model of the filtration method. +Pool’s designers are asking the public to pledge $25,000 by Friday, July 15. By last Thursday, roughly 80 backers had kicked in $7,000. Just one day later, more than $10,000 had been raised, donated by 185 backers.

“We’re excited at the reception this idea has gotten from the public, engineers and organizations. It’s very rare — the pool has generated its own interest from the ground up,” Wong said.

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  • Demonter

    Great idea…build a test pool to see how it goes.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Just ordered my speedo swim trunks. I’m ready to rock and roll.


  • Holly M

    Great idea…wrong part of the park. It belongs somewhere between Piers 1 and 6 and not in Dumbo. Looks horrible there and a pool would be a great way to connect two Piers.

  • Knight

    I agree with Holly about location. But if it will cost $25k to test the filtration system, how much will it cost to maintain the pool … and where will that money come from? Fiscally responsible people are looking for ways to trim maintenance and/or scale back the BBP project. Is now really the time to do this?

  • http://loscalzo.posterous.com Homer Fink

    Housing in the pool?

  • bornhere

    Hmm.. Anyone remember the old game “Hi-Q”?

  • Knight

    From what I just read on “Open Thread Wednesday” it sounds like that’s how the renovation of Clark Street Station will be funded, too.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Yes it looks nice and seems like a great concept… but from an engineering point of view there are a lot of major problems to overcome many more than just the filtration system… I hope the designers are openminded enough to compromise their design when necessary and actually get a working pool built.

  • JAFO

    They should ask Brita to back them.

  • David on Middagh

    I’d rather a floating carousel…

  • IB Farley

    How about moving the retired cruise ship the SS United States to one of the BBP piers. Use it as a hotel or a school. It has swimming pools too.


  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    IB Farley: I’d love to see the “Big U” come here: http://tinyurl.com/6ds4fzd

  • Still here

    HollyM – is correct on the location. Now all we need is many millions of dollars and a blessing from DEC.

    Question – fascinating concept – has such a ‘filter’ pool been installed in an urban environment like this? What about what get’s into the pool? what happens to all that sun tan lotion?

  • AmyinBH

    IB Farley your idea is brilliant! The pool could be used by the public for a small fee in the summer when the school is on summer session/closed. Even a hotel that would allow public access to the pool for a small fee would be great. I miss summer swimming and don’t have the energy to figure out the YMCA swim schedule to find a session.

  • bornhere

    IB Farley — Wonderful idea, for so many reasons.

    And with all due respect to the Kickstart Pool Thinkers … you lost me at “surreal.” Surreally.

  • Gerry

    With ALL of the development in Downtown Brooklyn in the past 20 years we still have NO aquatics center.

    This area needs a facility like the Asphalt Green on the East Side of Manhattan.

    In Downtown Brooklyn there is no place to swim!

    This floating pool concept does not look hopeful in the bitter cold of January it will cost a bundle to keep the pool water warm if it is even possible the utilities costs will be very high.

    We NEED a real pool an aquatics center in downtown Brooklyn but I dont think this will work.

    We NEED a well run aquatics center that opens at 5am every morning and closes at 12pm that is run well and safe and clean.

  • IB Farley

    Claude Scales originally thought of bringing the big U to Brooklyn and posted the plan. I just pulled it out of the closet for consideration again. I would love to see the BBP piers used for docking historical ships for various purposes.

  • Villager

    Why does it need to filter river water? Why not a floating, self-contained system? Seems miles easier to implement. Enough with all of this crappy forward-thinking (remember stainless steel domes in the sun?). Just do something that works.

  • Eddyenergizer

    Villager, exactly what I was getting at in my previous post. I like the basic Idea of the cross shaped pool offering different swimming options, the design of which will be challenging enough. Why add unnecessary complications?

  • nabeguy

    As long as the helicopters don’t confuse it for a landing pad, it might work.

  • Boba Fett

    This pool concept is amazing. I would make a donation if not for that tragic hat in the video. sorry.

  • Andrew Porter

    And when one of those high speed Sea Streak ferries goes by, the resulting wave will swamp the thing. As will any waves from passing large ships.

    Better to have it just off BBP out of the way of passing ships and the strong tidal currents. As if there were any extra money for it. Which there isn’t…

    One way of financing all this: sell the Brooklyn Bridge over and over, to all the passing tourists…

  • IB Farley

    Yeah, that’s the ticket. Raise money by charging tourist $5 to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Don’t charge cars, just tourists.

  • Big Dave

    Wintertime? Does it go away?
    Permeable or semi-permeable…wouldn’t the interior water react in movement to the outside water?

  • ujh

    IB Farley:
    The possible transfer of one or more of the historic ships from the South Street Seaport to BBP has already been suggested to Regina Myer. She responded that the BBP doesn’t have funds to care for these ships.

  • IB Farley

    Shake the Walentas down for some maritime money. They got the dough.

  • EHinBH

    Brings a bad element to the hood. I say noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  • EHinBH

    Have you ever been to coney island in the summer?? That’s what this will be like. Guaranteed. I know the other one was not like that, but it was just a novelty. Once here forever, people will come to use it. Let’s keep the park for people who live here (YES, I am being greedy! If we have to have a park, why not be honest — we want it to serve first the community where it lies)… And nobody here wants a pool, do they?

  • Muskrat

    I agree w focusing on a much needed “aquatic center” of some sort. I learned to swim at the old 3rd Ave Y about 45 years ago (does anyone else remember those required cottony knit suits we had to wear – and the regulation swim caps, w chin straps?), and wonder how anyone can do something as easily today w the limited options and the huge kid population that’s prime learn-to-swim age?

  • Eddyenergizer

    EHinBH, Yes I would love a nice pool nearby and would be glad to pay to use it.