Roosevelt Island, that sleepy urban outpost between Queens and Manhattan, hides a brilliant swimming pool that looks like it leapt from the set of one of Nicki Minaj’s music videos.
Barak Pliskin, founding principal of New York–based Pliskin Architecture, took The Architect’s Newspaper on a tour of the pool, part of residential Manhattan Park, on a recent summer morning. His firm, in collaboration with K&Co, has taken the pool’s standard-issue concrete deck and invited Andrew Farris, a Wyoming-based artist, to create a gigantic 3D mural. This is the second year an artist has reworked the space; last year HOT TEA presided over the deck.
Farris’s interlocking geometric piece flows along the pool deck’s terraces, cutting pastel ribbons across the concrete. Pliskin estimated it took two weeks and two coats of paint to cover the approximately 8,000-square-foot expanse.
The pool itself has capacity of around 50 people, plus space for 240 in one of the many reclining deck chairs. Bobby White, the pool’s manager, estimates that 60 percent of the patrons are island residents, and the rest come from further afield. If you’d like to take a dip, day passes costs $35 on the weekdays and $50 on weekends.
But you’re probably stuck at a desk right now, so get your outdoors fix by watching this mesmerizing time-lapse video of the pool-painting process:
The annual artist-designed project is part of a larger initiative to renovate Manhattan Park’s interior and exterior spaces. Colorful hammocks dot a pool-adjacent lawn, and the architects plan to redo the complex’s great lawn and playgrounds. The rental complex, which dates to the 1980s, is being renovated gradually by Pliskin with K&Co. The firms plan to tackle the spacious (and very 80s) marble-clad lobby, common spaces, and units as they become available.