Architecture

Making waves: New York City to get innovative river-sourced swimming pool

+ POOL – New York, USA

In a groundbreaking move, New York Governor Hochul has announced a partnership aimed at allowing swimming in natural water bodies across New York State. The state has committed US$16 million to pilot project dubbed + POOL, which intends to create the first urban river-sourced swim facility in the United States.

“For the amazing community of supporters that have been pushing for river access with us for so many years, this is a day to celebrate,” says Archie Lee Coates IV, one of the designers of + POOL and co-founder of the non-profit leading the initiative. “A lot of incredible people have been working daily to make this happen in New York. It’s projects like + POOL that make New York, New York, and we are excited for the work ahead that will contribute to the overall quality of life in the city for all New Yorkers.”

The design involves a plus-shaped floating swimming pool that filters over 1,000,000 gallons of water daily without chemicals. This initiative, supported by US$12 million from the state and US$4 million from the city, aligns with the Clean Water Act goals. Mayor Eric Adams emphasizes the historical significance, noting the fight for innovative solutions like + POOL.

The + POOL filtration system stands out with its distinctive design, incorporating three layers and a final disinfection stage that adheres to bathing beach standards for safe swimming water.

Beyond its water-cleaning capabilities, + POOL is highly versatile. It can be adapted for various purposes, including lap swimming, lounging, water sports, swim education classes, and children’s activities. The flexibility of the design allows each configuration to function independently. Moreover, configurations can be combined to create an Olympic-length pool or opened up entirely, forming a spacious 9,000 square foot pool for recreational activities.

The project aims to restore equitable access to New York’s waterways, promoting public health and economic benefits, reminiscent of the success of public pools in the past. Friends of + POOL, a non-profit organization driving the initiative, envisions reconnecting New Yorkers to their waters, contributing to the overall quality of life in the city.

Board Chair George Fontas praises the leadership of Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams in aligning agencies and experts to make this visionary moment a reality. The summer 2024 installation in NYC will demonstrate the innovative filtration system’s effectiveness, marking a pivotal step toward widespread access to clean, river-sourced swimming facilities.

“Building + POOLs in the rivers and waters across New York State is a visionary moment in New York and an extraordinary investment into the health and well being of New Yorkers,” says Fontas. “Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams have shown incredible leadership aligning several New York State and City agencies, dozens of staff and experts to make this proposal a reality. + POOL will spur new approaches to how we experience and interact with our waterways, promote economic activity, and lead to healthier New Yorkers.”

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