New York's Floating +POOL Expected to Open in Summer 2024

The project will offer a respite from the heat, while serving as an aquatic filtering facility.

Design
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New York’s ambitious plans to open a giant floating +POOL in the East River just got greenlit to be tested as soon as summer of 2024. First conceived over ten years ago, the monumental project just received a combined $16m investment from the city and state, announced New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

The project was first designed by Dong-Ping Wong, in collaboration with Oana Stanescu and PLAYLAB‘s Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeff Franklin. More than just a visually appealing addition to the city’s already iconic skyline, +POOL will offer a respite from the blistering heat of the summer, while simultaneously working as an aquatic filtering facility that will clean up one million gallons of the surrounding river water daily.

Not everyone is as ecstatic, however — including Wong, who cites concerns surrounding the Chinatown neighborhood that +POOL will be installed. “When I started + POOL the goal wasn’t to just build a pool,” the architect noted in a statement. “The goal was to see if it was possible to make big civic changes to the city from the ground up for places that often get overlooked. When we decided to start a non profit in 2015, it was based on the ideal that a non-profit would protect the project from private interests and ensure it remained a project truly for everyone.”

“As the project became more reliant on the philanthropic ecosystem of New York,” Wong continued, “and ascended into fancier rooms and levels of power, the ideals that grounded the project in the first place slowly gave way to interests that prioritized money, exposing the project to the levers of gentrification.”

With community at the core of +POOL, Wong hopes that the project doesn’t lose sight of its initial goal to help New Yorkers of various ethnic and economic backgrounds escape the heat and learn how to swim — the latter of which was impacted when Mayor Eric Adams cancelled free lessons last summer. The project is expected to begin testing this summer.

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