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Pooling Around

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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.
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  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

    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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  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: Richard PowersCourtesy of: Richard Powers

    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: Richard Powers

    Courtesy of: Richard Powers

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  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

    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

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  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: James KnowlerCourtesy of: James Knowler Photography

    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: James Knowler

    Courtesy of: James Knowler Photography

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  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: Miyoko Ohtake

    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: Miyoko Ohtake

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  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: Ty ColeCourtesy of: © TY COLE

    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: Ty Cole

    Courtesy of: © TY COLE

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  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: Gunnar KnechtelCourtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

    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: Gunnar Knechtel

    Courtesy of: Gunnar Knechtel

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  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: Misha GravenorCourtesy of: Misha Gravenor

    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: Misha Gravenor

    Courtesy of: Misha Gravenor

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  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: Ron Pollard

    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: Ron Pollard

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  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.

    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.

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