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Feature Swimming Pools

With the summer holiday season fast approaching and the sun only intermittently shining in the UK, thoughts turn to the holiday and lounging by a swimming pool.

Whether you are an interior designer, architect or garden designer, the swimming pool is often an important design feature, especially when working in warmer climates. However, it is not always at the forefront of a designer’s mind.

Here are some examples of how a swimming pool has been used to create a unique design feature or has been the basis of a whole design.

Mirage HouseMirage House

This project has been featured in quite a lot of different design blogs and online journals recently. Mirage house by Kois Associated Architects  includes a generous sized infinity pool which acts as the roof for the building helping it blend into the surroundings of the Aegean sea.

Hanging gardens

These infinity pools at Ubud Hanging Gardens hotel demonstrate how form can be used to create a dramatic architectural feature. The varying heights of the pools allow different views of the Bali forest and surrounding temples whilst the shape of the pools themselves reflect the natural landscape. 

Swimming pool

 Swimming pools can be used as a link between the interior and exterior. Use of transparent glass to show the swimmer is both brave but intriguing. The reflections of the water also help to bring light into the space, such as the image on the left of Shaw House by Patkau Architects and on the right Jellyfish House by WAA.

Let’s not forget the design of indoor swimming pools for those of us in less dependable climates. Even with a small amount of space this indoor pool is not only functional but works to tie in the nautical colours used in the accessories of the rest of the room. This project by Weir Phillips demonstrates how a swimming pool can really become part of an interior. 

Swimming pool

Outdoor swimming poolThe design of hotels and Spas relies heavily on the pool areas, which creates some unusual spaces. This spa by Althammer Hochuli Architekten epitomises how an existing space can be totally reimagined to provide such an unusual function.

Spa design can often be considered as fairly cliché, however there are some examples which stand out from the rest. Therme Vals Spa By Peter Zumthor minimises the separating between the areas of water and other spa facilities by using the same material throughout as well as using interesting architectural spaces to ‘fill with water’ .

Hopefully this has given a taste of the interesting ways that water can be introduced into a scheme. Swimming pools are a unique challenge for a designer, but this does not mean that you should always choose the standard option.


Mirage house 1 (2014)Dezeen (Online Image). Available from: [accessed 6.6.14]

Mirage house 2 (2014)Dezeen (Online Image). Available from: [accessed 6.6.14]

Hanging infinity pools (2011)Freshome (Online Image). Available from: [accessed 6.6.14]

Shaw house (2013), Archdaily (Online Image). Available from: [accessed 6.6.14]

Jellyfish House (2013), wielaretsarchitects. (Online Image). Available from: [accessed 6.6.14]

Indoor swimming pool (n.d), interior- homedecoration. (Online Image). Available from:[accessed 6.6.14]

Thermal baths and spa (n.d),Zurich. (Online Image). Available from:[accessed 6.6.14]

Therme Vals Spa (n.d),Interior Design 724 (Online Image). Available from: [accessed 6.6.14]

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