Not so long ago, a swimming pool was not much more than a cement swimmin’ hole. It used to be that you’d make a rectangular- or kidney-shaped concrete hole in the ground, fill it with water and dump in some chemicals.
But my, how they’ve changed, from contemporary zero-edge pools like those formerly seen only in resorts to pools that imitate wetland ponds. Private swimming pools have become more sculptural and architectural, as seen in this concept for a luxury residential high-rise.
The following collection shows dazzling outdoor pools, including one belonging to a famous actor/producer, pools with views of oceans and nature, and a few fabulous indoor examples.
By Colleen Kane
June 12, 2012
Price of house: N/A
Twin Creek Farms Estate is one example of the work of Caviness Landscape Design. (When Hugh Hefner’s infamous pool with grotto is not the most extravagant in the gallery of projects, you know these designers do some special work.) The vibrantly lit — with 32 custom light shows — Twin Creek Farms experience features a beach-style entry; grotto areas both wet and dry including a swim-up bar and a kitchen; waterfalls; dry-laid stonework; and patio with television and sound system.
Price of house: approx. $18 million
From atop one of the highest peaks of St. Jean, this three-bedroom, three-bath home offers several open entertaining areas with palapa-style wood ceilings. The infinity edge swimming pool is over 60 feet long and looks toward St. Jean Bay and the Eden Rock. There are numerous surrounding terraces. An outdoor bathtub is enclosed by one of the property’s cliffs.
Price of house: approx. $2.3 million
With an olive grove and fruit orchard, this 4-bedroom, 4-bath home is geared to cooks and lovers of fine food and drink. Its modern kitchen in the lower level has a tavern with pizza oven, dining area and wine cellar. But the villa’s natural infinity-edge stone swimming pool is a feast for all the other senses, with its views of the mountains and countryside. It includes a relaxation area with a steam bath.
Price of house: approx. $25.2 million
This 10-bedroom, nine-bath estate on the southeastern coast of Spain has two pools. The mansion is on the Marabella Golden Mile and has many luxury features like a terrace overlooking the sea, double-height ceilings, elevator, a 13-car garage, and staff housing. The outdoor swimming option is a free-form lagoon-like pool with a beach-like entry. The one indoors is a heavenly and serene all-white retreat offset by the aqua-blue pool.
Price of house: approx. $13.1 million
This modern villa has panorama windows overlooking the island’s capital city of Palma and its bay. It has six bedrooms, five baths, and three reception rooms. In addition to a small indoor lap pool, this infinity pool’s luminous green hue is a striking contrast to the white edifice of the house.
Price of house: N/A
Natural swimming pools, also known as swimming ponds, are part swimming pool and part functioning wetland, but without the mud. They use no chlorine, relying on microorganisms and filtration systems, and often contain plants. The zero-depth entry pool pictured here was created by Graduate Gardeners and won the 2010 Clear Water Revival Pool of the Year award, and features grasses and lily pads growing over beds of stones.
Price of house: N/A
The princely nine-bedroom, 14-bath villa called Riad (“The Secret”) is located in the desirable Dar el Bacha neighborhood, and it honors the ancient locale but incorporates the modern. The 9-year-old home has a three-car garage and a gym, plus three Turkish baths, bamboo and rose garden with fountains, and this magnificent colonnaded indoor pool, which has double-height ceilings allowing plenty of natural light by day and dramatic lighting at night.
Price of house: $14 million
This seven-bedroom, 11-bath home is the estate of Mark Wahlberg, with his-and-hers master baths, a chef’s kitchen, canyon views and a 35-mm digital projection theater/screening room.
The 2-acre grounds include a two-story gym, boxing ring, and a basketball/tennis/ racquetball court. The freeform waterfall pool has a grotto, and its beach, lounges and cabanas allow plenty of room for the entourage.
Price of house: $10.5 million
This seven-bedroom, nine-bath oceanfront mansion has a two-story observatory with rotating retractable dome and three telescopes, a floodlit tennis court, gym/pilates room, dance studio, and home theater. The pool features an infinity-edge rounded rectangular with a wedge-shaped shallow area to take in the ocean view while wading. There’s also an outdoor hot tub, a turtle pond and a grotto with waterfall.
Price of house: approx. $18.5 million
This five-bedroom, five-bath apostrophe-shaped midcentury modern home in some ways shows its 1960s architectural origins, but it has been updated to look more early-21st-century minimalist modern. Inside the circular indoor pool building is a wedge-shaped swimming pool with nearly panoramic views to the Beaulieu River on one side and a one-acre lake on the other side.