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Now this is a swimming hole!
A trio of Brooklyn designers hopes to build a floating pool in the East River — a sexy plan that would use filtered river water to cool you off.
The + Pool, as the prototype is called, could be latched to Brooklyn Bridge Park or East River State Park next summer — if the designers raise enough money.
“It’s very hard not to like this pool,” said Dong-Ping Wong, a Manhattan designer who drew up the plans with Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin of PlayLab, a Crown Heights design firm.
“It’s whimsical and a small escape from the city itself.”
Indeed, renderings depict the pool as an aquamarine mathematical symbol in the middle of the river, allowing bathers to swim laps as if they’re in between the two stanchions of the Manhattan Bridge.
Their idea began as a lark, when they fantasized about ways to escape the heat last summer. In a city surrounded by water, Wong said, why not plunge into the river to cool down?
What they hadn’t expected was the flood of interest from future swimmers, engineers, and environmental experts who felt the same way.
The pool, dubbed “a giant strainer dropped into the river,” would have walls that filter out bacteria and contaminants from the water.
It would be the first of its kind, technically comprised of four pools combined into a 9,000-square-foot tub.
The designers launched an online fundraising campaign on June 15 to raise $25,000 to determine the best filtration materials to make the city’s river water safe enough for swimming.
Less than a week later, 536 supporters donated $24,502.
The ultimate goal is to build a full-scale prototype to get the city behind the project. Such a mockup would cost $500,000.
Wong said that he has no preference on the project’s location, though Brooklyn Bridge Park is featured in its renderings.
Brooklyn Bridge Park last had a floating pool barge in 2007, which cooled almost 50,000 people before being moved to the Bronx park.
For now, park officials are showing interest in the + Pool, while also reminding that there isn’t a budget for it.
“The + Pool is an interesting conceptual idea, but Brooklyn Bridge Park currently has no funding in place for a floating pool,” said Regina Myer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.
Then again, earlier this year, Myer’s team applied for a permit with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to build a new floating pool.
At that time, the park didn’t have the $5-10 million it needed to build out the dock where the pool would moor.
But the + Pool doesn’t need to be moored to a permanent dock. Renderings suggest that it only needs a thin flexible pathway from dry land.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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