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Sink or swim? New York's floating +Pool turns to Kickstarter


July 10, 2013

The +Pool concept

The +Pool concept

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Though an apparently madcap idea, the early involvement of engineers at Arup suggested that the +Pool concept, to float a cross-shaped swimming pool in one of New York's rivers, might just become a reality. Now its designers at Family and PlayLab have launched a Kickstarter campaign to let backers buy pieces of the pool a tile at a time.

This is actually Family and PlayLab's second run on Kickstarter, having raised a little over US$40,000 in funding in July of 2011. Then they were selling stickers, sunglasses and beach balls in exchange for donations. This time around, Family's Dong-Ping Wong and Oana Stanescu, and PlayLab's Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Franklin are selling engraved tiles that will see the names of backers become a permanent fixture when the pool is eventually built.

If the campaign reaches its $250,000 target, the +Pool team intends to build a test case in the East River. Dubbed Float Lab, the 35 x 35 ft (10.7 x 10.7 m) pool would be used to test a variety of materials – an essential step given that the plan is to eventually filter river water to use in the +Pool itself.

Float Lab would be a fraction of the size of the final +Pool, which is intended to be 164 x 164 ft (50 x 50 m) and hold 285,000 gallons of water.

With 50 hours to go, the campaign is still $32,000 short of its target. For $25 backers can have their name alongside seven others on one of the pool's tiles. For $199, backers can reserve a tile of their own, and will also receive a copy to keep at home. The designers calculate that if all 70,000 tiles were sold, the $15 million budget needed for the +Pool itself would be met.

Whether or not the campaign meets its target, it seems likely the team will explore other avenues for funding. Judging by the "hundreds of meetings" the team has attended, they've come too far to let it hang in the balance of a Kickstarter campaign.

The obligatory campaign video is below.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

This is awesome! I love the filtering idea, that would be a great plus to have filtering work in a passive way. The downside would be the water temperature, it would always be the same as the river I assume.

I have seen a thing like this in Berlin, the "badeschiff" (google-search for images) but that is essentially a barge converted to a pool. Needs pumps for filtering. On the upside, if properly insulated, a barge based design can probably be heated and the season extended into spring and fall. No idea if the badeschiff is insulated tho.

And there are other projects like this around the world.


So after raising $40,000, they still haven't produced any scientific evidence that their filtration concept will work. What exactly did they spend that money on?


This pool is a waste of money. If you want to swim in the Hudson River, clean the river! Sounds like the greedy State/City government wants a way to yank more money out of the people and do minimal work for it.

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