A swimming pool is a luxury, no doubt about it, so when installing one it’s worth taking some time to settle on a design that really reflects the investment of money and effort that has gone into creating it. An outdoor pool has many merits, of course – not least that it will instantly make any garden, however meagre, look a lot more upscale – but where the local weather pattern is anything other than 365 days of sunshine a year, there are going to be quite a few occasions where that morning swim is going to have to be postponed. Clearly, that applies to Hong Kong, as do restrictions of space. In many cases, an outdoor pool in Hong Kong will have to be a rooftop one, since there isn’t much other other space going spare. An indoor pool is more flexible, however, and can be placed in a basement or in a specially designated section of a large apartment.
When designing around water, reflections have an enormous impact on how the finished product will end up looking. It’s therefore always worth viewing reflections as an additional aesthetic element to be manipulated. The designer of this space has good a good grasp of this; there is minimal adornment here, with the main interest in the room coming from the reflections of the subtle overhead lighting arrangement and the contrastingly curvy staircase.
Like a hidden lagoon tucked away in some secret location only a few people are lucky enough to know about, this swimming pool is dappled by just a touch of sunshine, its green waters mostly peacefully in shadow. Its waters aren’t really green, of course; the pool itself is. But it’s enough to create the impression of some sacred natural spot. The high arch of the ceiling, with its wonderful visible supports and full-length skylight, is of course the most special and unique thing about this design, and it only adds to the quiet cave-like atmosphere.
This is another design that successfully plays on reflections. In this case, the silver globes of the lights cause silvery ripples in the pool beneath.
Unlike the other designs we’ve looked at, which either feature very minimal natural light or none at all, this swimming pool is built around brightness. The huge window at the far end, which runs the full width of the pool, is ideal for maximising the sunlight entering the space. An oversized window like this one is also a good compromise for those who really want an outdoor pool to consider. If climate or other restrictions put that dream out of reach, using copious amounts of glass in the pool design will make the outdoor world seem that much closer to the swimmers inside. The brickwork seen on the right-hand wall is also a nice touch. Uneven and far from totally refined, it adds texture and variety to a room that would otherwise be overwhelmingly white and unornamented.
Here, the swimming pool is neither fully indoors nor fully outdoors. Largely shaded overhead, the pool still takes swimmers right to the edge of the lush greenery that lies beyond.