Finding a place to swim in New York City isn’t exactly easy, unless of course you’re willing to dive into the dubious waters of the Hudson River (I wouldn’t really recommend it).
Aqua-loving New Yorkers have come up with a few clever ways to beat the heat. This +Pool, for example, will filter river water to create a clean pseudo-natural swimming environment. The only catch is that the project is rather pricey, so it’s still under development.
A much more budget-friendly and accessible alternative is to take all of those old shipping containers and dumpsters, fill them with water, and create portable, mini swimming pools all throughout the city. They’ve been popping up throughout this busy metropolis every summer, and this particularly sweltering season hasn’t been any different.
Meet the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pop-Up Pool (BBPPUP), a cozy little swimming area that’s perfect for parents who want to strap their kids into floaties and splash around for a bit. Unlike other recycled New York swimming pools, which actually use shipping containers as the water receptacle, the BBPPUP has a slightly more conventional swimming pool and uses shipping container changing as changing rooms, storage, and bathroom facilities.
Designers Spacesmith and Davis Bordy Bond Architects struck something of a balance between modern cleanliness and recycled efficiency. They opted for a raised swimming pool and decided to use the shipping containers back in an area where there’d be less parental concern about tetanus. After all, you’d have a hard time attracting over-protective mothers with “Our pool was a formerly rusted death trap!” as your slogan.
So, what is it about this pool that makes it so child friendly? Everything, really — from the brightly-colored changing rooms to the completely nonthreatening swimming pool, which has a maximum depth of 3.5 feet. That’s a good depth for kids, but adults will barely be able to do more than get their feet wet. They’ve also got a fake beach (because we all know how much kids adores sand castles) and miniature umbrellas that are low enough to the ground to provide comfortable shade for babies and their parents.
The city even took extra precautions to make sure that the pool doesn’t become over-crowded on hot days. Visitors are issued a color-coded wristband, which corresponds to a particular time of day. Families will have about 45 minutes to swim before it’s somebody else’s turn.
The pool is a temporary installation (hence the “Pop-up” in its name), but just because it was designed to be temporary, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to stick around for a while. The official website explains that the pool will be open for about five years. After that, who knows? They could pick the pool up and relocate it to the top of a skyscraper for all we know. That’s part of the beauty of these mobile swimming pools: they’re mobile, cheap, and can thrive just about anywhere. I can’t wait for the pop-up pool craze escapes the borders of New York and hits other major US cities like DC and LA.