At the turn of the century New York City had as many as 15 floating bathhouses moored along the East and Hudson rivers. These floating bathhouses were tied to existing piers, usually near the tenement districts and provided an opportunity for the public to bathe and swim. Acting as a kind of 'migrating recreation pier', the pool served neighborhoods which lacked access to permanent pool facilities.
Inspired by these early 20th century floating bathhouses, The Neptune Foundation commissioned the design and construction of a new floating pool complex, to be built within a converted river barge. The barge/pool is towed to its designated waterfront site, which may vary from summer to summer, and is then opened for public use. The new facility has locker rooms, showers, and a snack bar all of which are organized around a raised court that overlooks the pool. This court is reached from the arrival porch at the shore-side of the barge by passing through a reception checkpoint.
The conversion and re-purposing of a cargo vessel into the Floating Pool, drew major television, radio and print coverage during its inaugural summer season at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 20,000 square foot facility, an example of the firm's commitment to sustainable design, hosted over 50,000 visitors during its eight week season, and won an international 2007 Award of Excellence from the Waterfront Center.