Pool school

Pool school

Those basins of water designed with a shallow and deep end, a few steps and some creative use of tiles — swimming pools — are heading into a major transformation phase. In fact, using the term “swimming pool” almost feels passé. 

Let’s face it: Rock formations, beach entries, infinity edges, wading areas, dramatic mosaic tile patterns, flames of fire for drama or effect along with a periodic advertising opportunity at the bottom of one’s pool are going to require some major innovation and renovation to be topped. 

This week’s trend is so futuristic, I preface the report with my desire to simply present a “possibility.” Enhancing your overall pool experience, even if you’re borrowing a past trend, can be a massive step. An advertising opportunity incorporated into the bottom of the pool, concrete pavers for a top of the pool feature, moody lighting or updated decking are expansive, time-consuming and expensive; however, one “wow” element is all you may need. 

From romantic hideaways and fantasy playgrounds to residential towers, pool artistry is unveiling some wicked and mesmerizing pools. Although functional for swimming, those who enjoy taking in some lengthy laps for exercise may be challenged. The first must-see new pool is in Buenos Aires, where the Leandro Erlich pool is showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. 

The swimming pool is framed by a limestone deck and appears to be filled with deep, shimmering water. However, a layer of water only 4 inches (10 centimeters) deep is suspended over transparent glass. Below the glass is an empty space with aquamarine walls that viewers enter. 

Balcony pools are triggering a future trend in new construction properties. The InterContinental Festival City Hotel in Dubai extended its pool beyond the edge of the hotel by supporting it with Plexiglas, an exceedingly strong material often used as a substitute for glass because of its resistance to shattering and breaking.  

In Mumbai, the Aquaria Grande Residential Tower, two 37-story towers designed by The Wadhwa Group, will be a stunning architectural feat as balconies are transformed into swimming pools. 

Nearly 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in length, the pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile is so large tourists actually cruise in sail boats and kayaks. The pool even has been acknowledged by Guinness as the world’s largest — in fact, it holds as much water as 6,000 standard pools. 

Understanding most of us won’t be incorporating a water masterpiece to these levels, I felt they were astonishing examples of what architects and designers have created to push the swimming pool into its next era. And with summer around the corner, I hope this post jumpstarts the creative juices as we enter the pool season. Personally speaking, I plan to incorporate my own version of the ultra-modern swimming pool: a coffee table, complete with diving board!