Article by Win Phyo These incredible pools have changed how people think and interact when it comes to people and water. Fancy a dip? The first swimming pool existed 5000 years ago in a Pakistani settlement. The great bath was the earliest public water facility made out of bricks. The history of pools then moved to the ancient Greeks and Romans. As individual wealth increased, so did the standard of living and luxuries like pools were considered to be the ultimate amenity. The Romans definitely knew how to make a splash – in AD 305, they built an incredible pool; over 900,000 square feet in size, which was heated by giant fires in the basement below the pool. Over time, swimming pools evolved and became more mainstream as people began to see that part of the American Dream was to perform a breaststroke in your very own backyard! Now, pools can be found in almost every country; so much so that it is hard to spot the difference between one country and another! Today, however, we will honour the long history in many different cultures and dive into a tour around the world to the most spectacular swimming pools that are worth taking a dip in. Enough with our witty puns – let’s take the plunge, shall we?
How do you design a sky pool within a concrete jungle that makes a statement? The first in our list is a pool in Bangkok that is situated above a high-end condominium building, designed by a renowned landscape architectural design studio – TROP Terrain+Openspace.Not wanting to create just another “sky pool,” the designer had the creative vision of not limiting himself to the ground plane of the pool. Instead he played with an overhead skeletal structure and the end result is a pool with a unique geometry and strong presence.
Within a sophisticated beach house in southern Spain lays a swimming pool that exceeds others in construction and design techniques. Without the pool, the Jellyfish House’s character is lost. Why? Because the visual connection of the exposed cantilevered pool glass pool between the interior and exterior parts of the house grants a fluid space, full of iridescent turquoise movements that reflect throughout the entire house. This pool personalizes the house and is a unique experience for both the swimmer and the house dweller.
What if the Hudson River became swimmable? What if we told you it could be a possibility? The guys at PlayLab have worked with other designers and engineers, such as Arup, to make it a possible for you to swim in the City that never sleeps. The plus-shaped pool has layers of filtration system to naturally improve the water condition and the innovative shape creates an open space and four-in-one pool which allows for competitive swimming, playing and lounging! This is a one-of-a-kind unique invention that ought to be implemented and you can help make it a reality by visiting this page but for now, why not check out the link to see what could be waiting for you the next time you visit New York City?
This pool doesn’t just make up the rooftop of the Mirage residence, it is the roof of the Mirage residence! The design of the house disappears quietly into the landscape just as the pool disappears out onto the horizon. The concept and construction of the pool deals with the illusion of seamless infinity and serenity.As if the third largest island in Greece couldn’t get any more beautiful, the designers’ thoughtful and sensitive design considerations have made this place truly fascinating.
A wealthy amateur violin player and collector-homeowner in New York deserves nothing less than a pool which resembles an exact scale replica of a Stradivarius violin from the 1700s with all of the intricate, beautiful details. The pool consists of fibre optic lighting elements which bring its violin features to life, complemented by plantings, two koi fishponds, and a spa and river flow jet system. The design in itself is an art piece with great construction details, once again used to maximize the aesthetic and experiential qualities of the pool.
Winter swimming is a popular thing in Northern Europe and the Harbour Baths in island Brygge in Copenhagen are a successful landmark and facility that allows both summer and winter swimming for water-loving city dwellers. The pool has long wooden promenades that resemble the decks of a passenger ship, and a diving tower which looks like the tip of the ship itself. This infamous unique oasis, since its opening, has given the Copenhagen Harbour a new green image.
To infinity and beyond! Bassil Mountain Escape is a vacation house in Lebanon that was built to get away, far away, from our busy stressful lives and encounter a peaceful environment that helps us relax. This is one of the main purposes of a water element in landscape architectural design and our interaction with water is a huge help. The clever design of the pool is made up by the illusion of the infinity by extending the design out of the site’s boundary with a cantilevered water mirror and floating stepping-stones, which lead users out to the bar below.
This special residence in Beverley Hills uses the water’s edge as an organic perimeter to break the connection between the outside environment and the house. The three-storey building has a majestic water feature on its lowest level – a small water channel, which becomes a spectacular pool and Jacuzzi through a quick change in the width of the waterway, that creates a barrier whilst maintaining spatial continuity. The water element, fittingly, absorbs into the terrace style design with certain elegance that defies the commonplace.Pool designs over the centuries have become normalized and we see repetitive and simple rectangular flat surface designs plastered all over our towns and cities. The examples above are pools of real substance – these are the ones that make us feel proud to call ourselves landscape architects and architects because the boundaries of the designs are being pushed further and further to constantly give new depth, dimension, and meaning to an historical pool element that was merely for sacred purposes in the past. We hope you enjoyed our short tour – let’s hope we will see more spectacular pool designs in the years to come that break the old boundaries. Do you know of any other pools that deserve to be on the list? Let us know in the comments below! Go to comments Recommended Reading:
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
Article by Win Phyo