February 1, 2013
We take a look at 10 of our favorite swimming pools and pool houses from over the years. Whether for recreation, exercise, or simply to beat the heat, these pools (and in some cases their surrounding structures) stand unmatched in their creative designs and aesthetics. Scroll all the way through the slideshow to see one example in quite an unexpected place.
Modern pool house in Santa Monica

Prior to the addition of the raised, 750-square-foot pool (and its 65-square-foot hot tub), this Santa Monica, California, lot was a scramble of structures: the house in one corner and the guesthouse and the office each occupying another. Without the pool's elevation, "you’d open the guesthouse door and be forced to be part of what’s going on in the water,” architect Padraic Cassidy says. “Because the pool is at waist height, the wall creates a private space for the visitor.” Read more about this standout feature here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Master Stroke
1 / 10
Dunlop demonstrates the deck’s secondary use: as a launching pad into the concrete plunge pool on the first floor.

This plunge pool was a key component in completing a couple's dream home in northeast Australia. In addition to its obvious use as a spot to jump in and cool off, the pool can also be utilized as a firefighting water source in a region prone to bush fires. Read more about this very unique home here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Hillside Family Home in Australia
2 / 10
Competitive swimmer Sydne Didier commissioned Austin Design Inc. to create a 102-foot-long pool house in a freestanding structure behind her Amherst, Massachusetts, house.

Competitive swimmer Sydne Didier commissioned Austin Design Inc. to create a 102-foot-long pool house in a freestanding structure behind her Amherst, Massachusetts, house. The project was a first for architect Rachael Chase, with quite a successful result. Read more about the New England swim haven here.

Courtesy of 
David Stansbury
Originally appeared in Skinny Dip
3 / 10
Modern backyard pool patio BBQ area

In the words of homeowner Kylie Brammy, "I love our pool—it provides a “yin” element of cooling, moistening, and grounding to the house, in contrast to the warm and dry materials we’ve used elsewhere. I can actually touch the water from inside through the sash window at the end of the bench seat, which gives me a sense of serenity. Being connected to the environment is important to me." This pool's straddling of interior and exterior is unparalleled. Read more about this space-conscious home here.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
James Knowler Photography
Originally appeared in This Luminous Australian Renovation Packs a Lot Into a 23-Foot-Wide Lot
4 / 10
The Cairns Esplanade Pool in Australia

The Cairns Esplanade Pool in eastern Australia is wonderfully integrated into the park and effortlessly transitions from fountain to swimming space to beach substitute (parts of the pool have a sandy bottom and sections of the surrounding area are filled with sand, making it perfect for sunbathing). Read more about Cairns and Dwell's Australian tour here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Touring Sydney, Part 2
5 / 10
prefab beach house retreat

This solar-heated pool caps off Victoria and Greg Pryor's second home, a green-minded getaway for the couple and their two sons. Read more about this unique Long Island destination here.

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
© TY COLE
Originally appeared in Green Sustainable Home in Montauk
6 / 10
Ambient pool house with barrel ceiling

The pool house is one of the most significant architectural developments in this Barcelona remodel. The lap pool, combined with the overhanging fireplace, sustains warmth and placidity year-round. Read more about the renovated, 18th-century flat here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Barcelona Home Like No Other
7 / 10
Sophie and Colin enjoy their new pool, the only non-solar-powered portion of their home in Venice, California, created by their father, architect David Hertz. <a href="http://www.dwell.com/articles/sustainability-in-stages.html">Read the full article here

Sophie and Colin enjoy their new pool, the only non-solar-powered portion of their home in Venice, California, created by their father, architect David Hertz. Read the full article here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Sustainability in Stages
8 / 10
Colored concrete walls, pivoting glass doors, and a scissor-shaped steel roof maintain the fun and modern feel of this computer-game designer’s suburban poolside shelter.<br /><br /><strong>Project:</strong> Traeger Pool House
<strong>Architect:</strong>

Colored concrete walls, pivoting glass doors, and a scissor-shaped steel roof maintain the fun and modern feel of this computer-game designer’s suburban poolside shelter. See more here.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Pool Houses: From Laps to Naps
9 / 10

The Floating Pool is a seven-lane, 25-meter pool with translucent murals, showers, a spray pool and a terrace. It was primarily designed to provide mobile heat relief to the public in areas where private pools are an unfamiliar concept. To learn more about this particular pool's history, click here.

Originally appeared in Floating Pool
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Modern pool house in Santa Monica

Prior to the addition of the raised, 750-square-foot pool (and its 65-square-foot hot tub), this Santa Monica, California, lot was a scramble of structures: the house in one corner and the guesthouse and the office each occupying another. Without the pool's elevation, "you’d open the guesthouse door and be forced to be part of what’s going on in the water,” architect Padraic Cassidy says. “Because the pool is at waist height, the wall creates a private space for the visitor.” Read more about this standout feature here.

Photo by David Allee.

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