One summer, about eight years ago, Oana Stănescu, Jeff Franklin, Archie Lee Coates IV, and Dong-Ping Wong were sweating it out and decided they wanted to go for a swim. But in New York City, public pools are hard to come by, and private ones are, you know, expensive. So the quartet, themselves architects, and designers set out to build a pool of their own. And that’s how + POOL started.
If you’re picturing an inflatable pool on a rooftop, think way bigger. The group’s ambitious plan is to construct a plus-sign-shaped public pool in New York’s East River by crisscrossing two Olympic-length pools. Oh, and it would also filter the river water flowing in and out of the pool — a cool million gallons a day — to make it safe for swimming. After two successful crowdfunding campaigns, a working test pool called Float Lab proved that the team’s tech could work. (They tell us they all promptly jumped into the water after the news came in.)
And though there’s still a ways to go before we can all take a dip in the big filtering plus sign — getting city approvals and finding an appropriate site isn’t easy — that hasn’t stopped the team from pursuing their mission of cleaning the river’s water and opening it up to everybody. They’ve been giving swimming lessons to children who live in New York City Housing Authority homes so that when the time comes, the kids will have the know-how to swim, to dive, and, yes, to cannonball.
Top: Jeff wears the Unbutton Down Shirt (Charcoal Micro Tattersall) and the Stretch Weekday Warrior Dress Pants (Tuesday Charcoal Yarn Dye). Archie wears the Military Jacket (Burgundy) and the Brushed Button Down Shirt (Burgundy MacCallum Plaid). Dong-Ping wears the Military Jacket (Navy), the Double Faced Crew Neck (Navy), and the 4-Way Stretch Jeans (Resin Rinse)