McCarren Pool and Bathhouse
McCarren Pool and Bathhouse
McCarren Pool is situated within the 35-acre McCarren Park on Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Built in 1936 by Robert Moses and designed by Aymar Embury II, the pool, in combination with the surrounding park, is one of the most significant achievements of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program in New York City.
July 12, 1937
Courtesy of New York City Parks Photo Archive
Key to the success of the design is the respect given to the most prominent original architectural elements of the building: the main archway entrance, the symmetry of the bathhouse wings and site plan, and the exposed concrete ribs and vaults of the interior structure. ©David Sundberg/ESTO
The reconfiguration of the pool includes two outdoor changing pavilions and a peninsula into the main pool with spray features during the summer and ice skating in winter.
Sketch Diagram of the Building Reuse
The building’s entryway and architecture's monumental design remains as a significant icon and the building’s existing layout provides the architectural direction for the new elements incorporated as a part of the building's reuse.
Key to the success of the design is the respect given to the most prominent original architectural elements of the building including the main archway entrance, the symmetry of the bathhouse wings and site plan, and the exposed concrete ribs and vaults of the interior structure. ©David Sundberg/ESTO
Existing headhouse building and new outdoor changing pavilion.
At the main archway, all facility users enter through grand central arches, open to the sky. The archway, in turn, is the central directional organizer of the outdoor activities, creating a shared threshold between the busy city and this center for fun and engagement. ©David Sundberg/ESTO
The existing doorways are reactivated with new glass and bronze surrounds. Clothing baskets found as part of the renovation are hung from the ceiling. ©David Sundberg/ESTO
New partitions separating rooms and corridors are topped with fire-rated glass clerestories allowing the visual continuity of the vaults to provide borrowed daylight between spaces. ©David Sundberg/ESTO
Exposed concrete ribs and vault of the original structure remain as prominent elements of the interior, unbroken by new interior walls. ©David Sundberg/ESTO
- Brooklyn, New York
- NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
- Preservation & Reuse, Public, Recreational, Sustainable , Institutional, Park /Recreation
50,843SF / 4.4 acres SF
- Design Team
- Jonathan Marvel, Scott Demel, Rachael Barnard, Martha Bush, Marissa Cheng, Chris Dameron, Patricia Ebner, Karyssa Halstead, Chian-ju Ku, Jennifer Massim, Brenda November, Maiko Shimizu, Jenny Wu
- • Silman, Structural Engineer • Collado Engineering, MEP Engineer • Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Preservation • Langan Engineers, Civil Engineers • AKRF, EIS Consultant • SAIC, LEED+Energy Modeling • Counsilman Hunsaker, Pool • Jim Conti, Lighting • Reginald Hough, Concrete
- International Design Awards, Silver Medal, Architecture/Restoration, Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, Historic District Council Design Awards, Municipal Art Society NYC MASterwork Award, Best Restoration
- Photography Credits
- ©David Sundberg/ESTO