The design for +Pool (pronounced “plus pool”) has been tearing up the world wide web since last week, when the two architecture firms who invented the project uploaded it to Kickstarter, making the quest for inventive summer recreation official. It’s not all fun and games, however: +Pool is an example of how to innovate in design and put power into the hands of the people. The Office of Playlab, Inc. and Family New York still have a ways to go to bring the floating pool onto the banks of the East River, but public support is already helping to speed along the possibility of combining zinc oxide, a swan dive, and views onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
Below, Life+Times talks to Dong-Ping Wong of Family New York and Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeffrey Scott Franklin of PlayLab about their vision for a floating pool in New York City, plus their favorite additions to a gold-plated summer playlist.
Life+Times: Why does New York needs a new floating pool? Doesn’t it already have a bunch of public pools? What makes +Pool stand out?
Dong-Ping Wong: It’s not that New York needs a floating pool. I mean who NEEDS a floating pool? But New York does need to cool off. And there’s a river right there. That we can’t really get into. But it’d be rad if we could. And a river-filtering floating pool is a pretty good way to make that happen.
L+T: What stage of the project are you on?
Archie Lee Coates IV: We’ve finished the launch, teaming and engineering feasibility phases, and are just starting the testing and development phase now.
L+T: Why did you take +Pool to the people first?
Jeffrey Scott Franklin: We can’t do this ourselves. We’re not developers or philanthropists or anything like and we weren’t even sure where to start. So we made it public to find people that could help us make this happen and that were as into this project as we were. From the beginning, this whole thing has been driven by the ever growing public support. Seems appropriate for a plus shaped pool for everyone.
L+T: Best case scenario: when is this thing getting built?
ALC: Best case scenario: we’d be swimming already. Second best case: either next summer or the summer after.
L+T: What should we bring when visiting the +Pool?
DPW: A cute friend.
L+T: What’s the coolest pool you’ve ever done the butterfly in? (And do architects even take vacations?)
DPW: I’ve tried to do the butterfly so many times and fail every time. I’m pretty sure that however cool the pool was before I got there, it dropped a few notches after my attempts.
ALC: I belly flop every time.
JSF: Doggy Paddle all the way.
L+T: What’s your ideal summer pool playlist?
DPW: Anything off [Dr. Dre's] The Chronic, [JAY-Z's] The Blueprint or [OutKast's] Spottieottiedopaliscious looped over and over.
ALC: I’m about to go H.A.M. But I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t say Arthur Russell’s Let’s Go Swimming EP, or anything off of Calling Out of Context.
JSF: Frank Ocean and Journey’s Any Way You Want It, Caddyshack style.