Generally speaking, New Yorkers are open-minded people, but one experience in which city dwellers would never participate is taking a dip in the famously contaminated East River. Even on the hottest summer days, this particular body of water simply isn’t appealing to anyone who values personal hygiene. However, a group of four innovative friends is calling for a serious cleanup job by way of a giant plus sign–shaped floating pool (after the group’s name, + POOL) just north of the Manhattan Bridge, which connects Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood to Brooklyn’s Dumbo. Without any chemicals and additives, the pool filters more than 600,000 gallons of East River water that floats through the pool’s barriers every day. Plus, New Yorkers will hardly ever turn down a chance to plunge into a chic and photogenic pool.
Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeff Franklin of the design firm PlayLab, and Dong-Ping Wong and Oana Stanescu of the architecture firm Family, originally conceived of the idea for + POOL back in 2010, but like anything worth doing, it took a while to actually become a reality. After all, the group had to (and continues to) raise funds, develop working filtration systems, and test them for accuracy and efficiency. And after years of research and testing, the four friends have managed to prove that + POOL’s tech actually works.
And now that the city has allowed + POOL to officially drop anchor in a specific location, the real challenge begins: raising between $20 million and $25 million to give New Yorkers the Olympic-size warm weather haven they’ve been dreaming of for years.
Much like the projects of other inventive entrepreneurs who had to hit pause on their brilliant ideas at the start of 2020, + POOL is finally starting to pick up steam again. Now that + POOL has an official home in the East River, eager New Yorkers may be one step closer to fearlessly diving into the salty water, but it’s still a little ways off, considering construction could take up to two years. Until then, Manhattan residents and Brooklynites alike will be patiently waiting to make their way toward the tidal strait that separates them.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest