Yes, it’s dumpster diving again. I know, I know, all of my loyal fans out there have read each of my articles hundreds of times by now, so you know that I’ve already written about dumpster swimming pools before. Well, as it turns out, more than one New York artist was amused by the dumpster diving pun.
These particular dumpster pools were designed by Jocko Weyland, David Belt, and Alix Feinkind, the three minds behind Macro|Sea. And, unlike so many other aquatic New York projects, they built it in 14 days and on a shoestring budget.
I’m not going to dazzle you with the architectural details because, well, there aren’t any. Building these dumpster pools were about as simple as you could possibly get. They started with some dumpsters, water proofed ’em with some sealant, and then dumped a bunch of sand and good ol’ H20 into them. Add a bit of chlorine for the sake of public health and viola! Dumpster diving.
The goal of Macro|Sea is to transform strip malls by stripping away their conventional purposes and adding public spaces where people can meet, talk, and splash about in bathing suits, evidently. What makes this project so successful is that they did it. No months of planning, no artsy-fartsy competition — just a few guys applying some good-old-fashioned elbow grease to make something real. Perhaps I sound cynical, but I’ve covered literally dozens of aquatic projects centered around New York, and so few of them ever see completion. It’s refreshing to see flesh-and-blood New Yorkers in their swim suits, rather than just artist renditions.
Another rather awesome feature of this project is how green it is — they created a beautiful public swimming out of old useless junk. Who would have thought that swimming in dumpsters could possibly be appealing? Even after the first few bleach showers you’d think that a dumpster would look like a tetnus-ridden death trap full of festering bacteria, but it really doesn’t look half bad. Their bright colors and inviting atmosphere make transform it to a vacation spot in the middle of the city.
Unfortunately, the clever pun that inspired these dumpster pools is somewhat misleading. These 50,000 lb pools are actually rather small, and can only accommodate 10 swimmers at a time. They bottom out at about 5’6″, so I wouldn’t really go diving into one if you value the integrity of your spinal cord.