Plus Pool

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Plus Pool
+POOL logo.svg
Type of projectPublic swimming pool
LocationEast River, New York City
FounderDong-Ping Wong, Oana Stănescu, Archie Lee Coates IV, Jeffrey Franklin[1]
EstablishedJune 2010
FundingCrowdfunded via Kickstarter

Plus Pool, often stylized as + POOL, is an initiative to bring a floating swimming pool to the East River, on the Manhattan and/or Brooklyn banks, in New York City; a permanent location has yet to have been determined.[2] The 9,300 square feet (860 m2) pool would be filled with water filtered from the river it floats in. The two companies behind it, Family New York and PlayLab, have been using the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise money for the project.


The planned cross-shaped, Olympic-sized pool[3] would be used to clean the waters of the East River while providing a public space for water-based recreation.[4] With its current design, the pool would flush out up to half a million gallons of river water daily through a layered filtration system.[5] Over a quarter of a million gallons of filtered river water would be used to fill the pool itself.[6] The planned long-term goal is to raise a total of $15 million to fund the entire pool by 2016.[5][7]


In July 2011, the team raised over $41,000 on Kickstarter to test filtration materials using water from the East River.[8] With the help of researchers at Columbia University, the tests yielded feasibility,[9] and in July 2013 over a quarter million dollars was raised to build a 35 square foot miniature version of the floating pool.[10] The "test lab" is to be a working prototype to analyze its effectiveness in river conditions.[5]

Since its conception, several independent companies have participated in the Plus Pool project, including engineering firm Arup,[9][11] design firm IDEO, environmental consultants from One Nature, and art institution Storefront for Art and Architecture.[12][13] The project has also been met with interest from government officials, notably New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and New York City Council Member Brad Lander.[14][15]

In November 2013, Time magazine ranked Plus Pool as one of the 25 best inventions of the year 2013.[16]

The pool was projected to open in mid-2016.[2][3] Not much visible progress was made through 2016, but in April 2017, it was announced that a partnership with Heineken was formed.[17]

In 2019, the founders of Plus Pool introduced a light sculpture in the East River. Funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, Heineken and the Howard Hughes Corporation, the sculpture changes colors based on water conditions. The system and the algorithm behind it was developed by scientists at Columbia University and developers and designers at the tech firm Reaktor.[18]

The city approved a location for the pool north of the Manhattan Bridge on the Lower East Side in 2021. The team proceeded to work on regulatory thresholds for the river and pool bathers.[19][20][21]


  1. ^ "+POOL Team". +POOL. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b "When does Plus Pool open?". Huffington Post. April 23, 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b "'Floating pool' planned for East River in mid-2016". New York Post. Associated Press. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  4. ^ Matarese, Jennifer. "Designers plan floating pool for East or Hudson River". WABC-TV, ABC News. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Willett, Megan. "A Floating Pool In New York's East River Is Getting Closer To Reality". Business Insider. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  6. ^ Griffith, Eric. "Kickstarter Tech Project of the Week: +POOL". PC Magazine. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Crowdfunding gives rise to projects truly in public domain". USA Today. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  8. ^ Rutkoff, Aaron. "An East River Pool? Maybe This Idea Isn't Off the Deep End". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  9. ^ a b Solon, Olivia. "Plus Pool: The floating swimming pool proposed for NYC's river". Wired. Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  10. ^ Brooks, Katherine (12 July 2013). "Floating Pool Project Is Fully Funded And New Yorkers Everywhere Should Celebrate". Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  11. ^ Mathias, Christopher (16 June 2011). "+ Pool Team Starts Kickstarter Project To Make East River Floating Pool A Reality". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  12. ^ "+Pool". Storefront for Art and Architecture. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  13. ^ "+Pool on crowdfunding architecture". Arup Connect. Arup. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  14. ^ Polsky, Sara (4 January 2011). "Brooklyn Bridge Park's Floating Pool Gets a Boost". Curbed. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  15. ^ "+POOL Timeline". +POOL. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  16. ^ "The 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013 Read more: The Plus Pool | The 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013". Time. 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-11-17. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  17. ^ Walker, Ameena (25 April 2017). "New York's +POOL hopes to shore up public support with new campaign". Curbed. Retrieved 11 May 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Kurutz, Steven (2019-10-05). "New Yorkers Will Have to Wait for an East River Pool (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  19. ^ Gleason, Will (May 10, 2021). "This spectacular floating pool now has a home in the East River". Time Out New York. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  20. ^ Swanson, Carl (May 7, 2021). "First Look: The Plus Pool's Future East River Home". Curbed. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  21. ^ Megan C. Hills. "New York greenlights floating public pool on the East River". CNN. Retrieved 2022-07-18.

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