Stacked high on massive cargo vessels, shipping containers make lengthy journeys across the world’s oceans to deliver the goods. Many of those containers make a single trip only to be discarded upon arrival, while others get second chances as restaurants, office spaces, or homes. More recently, one American company has found yet another way to keep them from becoming waste—by turning them into backyard swimming pools.
Since being founded by Paul Rathnam in 2017, Modpools has created some seriously unusual pool designs that begin with discarded shipping containers—think pools on rooftops, pools with windows into living rooms, and pools integrated into decking. "We’re disrupting an industry and innovating an untapped space in the market between old-school traditional pools and ’70s hot tubs," claims Rathnam.
The idea for Modpools came to Rathnam about six years ago on a trip to Palm Springs, where he has vacationed regularly with his family over the past several years. After becoming accustomed to the pool lifestyle, he started exploring new ways to install one conveniently at his own home. Rathnam had already been converting shipping containers into office spaces, so he thought, why not a pool?
"Containers already have a complementary shape and robust engineering, making them a natural fit," he explains. Rathnam is also quick to point out the ease of installation, and boasts their sleek design when compared with other above-ground pool options.
To date, the company has shipped over 850 pools to clients in North America. "The reaction to Modpools has been overwhelmingly positive," says Rathnam. "Most people love the idea of upcycling a shipping container into a swimming pool."
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