The Architecture of Swimming Pools

Integrating water into a project is one of the most exciting and potentially game-changing design elements that architects can include in a new building. The allure of water is undeniable, and whether it is a tranquil, deep reflection pool or a bright and fun lap pool to cool off in, there are not many people that wouldn't love a pool in their home.

Pools have a fascinating history that stretches back many centuries. They were originally used as storage ponds in the ancient cities of what is now India and Pakistan. The 'Great Bath' in Mohenjo-Daro (Pakistan) is one of the earliest known surviving 'pool' structures, and was probably used for religious and ceremonial purposes around 4,500 years ago. At about the the same time, the Greeks began to develop open air pools in their courtyards, and considered it essential that children were taught to swim as part of their education. This tradition of capturing water for storage and bathing continued through the centuries, and the growth of the Roman and Indian civilisations saw the construction of countless baths and step-wells throughout Europe, India and Central Asia.

These ancient examples provide incredible inspiration for us today, showing how modern pools needn't just be a somewhat forgotten and expensive puddle of water in the backyard, but how they can become an integral part of our homes and daily lives. Regarding them as another 'room' or 'place' in the home allows us to transform our thinking, and often results in spectacular places that have a magnetic attraction.

We've collated some of our favourite pool images from across the web, and whilst they vary enormously in their nature, they all have something special about them. We've noticed that the best pools all use incredible light, colour and reflections to create a sense of place whilst emphasising the rich materials and silky blue water. Brick, stone and smooth plaster have all been highlighted by bright shafts  of sunlight or soft moody lighting, which accentuate the material textures and the inviting aqua blue water.

 

We've identified two types of pools, which are ultimately defined by their setting. Intimate indoor pools provide viable options for city living, and offer tranquil and secluded oases in the busy city. Contrasting with these smaller pools are the luxuriously large and expansive infinity edge pools, which focus on dramatic views that seemingly extend to the distant horizon in an endless body of water. These images prove that there are so many wonderful options for integrating water into every project.

 

Enjoy our collection - we hope it leaves you dreaming of amazing holidays, future homes, and relaxing days by the pool!

Adalaj step-well, India

Roman Bath, England

Hotel Katikies, Santorini, Greece

 

© 2019 by Michael Bailey.

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