Dive Into the Most Inviting Pools From the AD Archive

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Architecture, Swimming Pools, AD Archive, Landscape Design

Pools, pools, pools. Is that what’s on your mind, too? Alas, summer is almost over. Nonetheless, as you enjoy a burst of outdoor respite this Labor Day weekend—or longingly recall the hottest months of the year in the coming, crisper weeks—there’s no reason not to let yourself be metaphorically transported to a perfect pool of your choice. So take a dip, do a lap, and make some waves as you swim languorously through the  images below. They represent some of the best—and most inviting—pools published in past issues of AD

Studio Peregalli’s Wallpaper-Ensconced Pool in Bavaria

The German indoor pool. Photographed by Robert Rieger, AD, January 2020

In an idyllic Bavarian retreat, an early 19th-century sculpture by Antonio Canova surveys a beautiful pool. Surrounded by a hand-painted mural and bamboo shades, the pool is the perfect well-designed space in which to take a plunge. Studio Peregalli is responsible for this jewel box—as well as for the custom bronze sconce seen in the corner. While the pool house was a relatively new addition to the home, the façade of the main house had deeper roots. “It’s a house that’s simple as can be,” Roberto Peregalli said of the German structure at the time, “but when you step inside, it’s a surprise.”

The Mérida Pool of an Artist

Jorge Pardo’s pool, published in AD at the end of 2018. Photographed by Jason Schmidt, AD, December 2018

In Mérida, Mexico, artist Jorge Pardo has built a colorful retreat. Here, the outdoors are as important as the interiors, as evidenced by the lush surrounding garden grounds. “I wanted to make a place where you didn’t ‘go’ to the garden, but you’re in the garden,” Pardo explained at the time. “I love the idea that you have to walk through the entire garden every day as you go in and out of the house.” As for the pool, it can be accessed from the outdoors or through the living room. The basin itself is made out of chukum Mayan stucco.

A-Rod’s Florida Abode

A pool fit for the baseball slugger. Photographed by Bjorn Wallander, Architectural Digest, June 2016

For its June 2016 issue, AD visited the home of baseball star Alex Rodriguez. Though A-Rod is best known as a Yankees all-star, the estate is located far from Manhattan’s cityscape—specifically, in the perennially lush state of Florida. The image seen here, which was taken by Bjorn Wallander, graced the magazine’s early summer cover. Considering the wide blue expanse of this invitingly large pool, it’s no wonder why.

A Brazilian Pool With a View to Remember

The Nova Friburgo property. Photographed by Oberto Gili, Architectural Digest, September 2014

In September 2014, Carlos Souza gave AD a tour of his Brazilian home. Located in Nova Friburgo, its pool, seen here, features an incredible view of the nearby Três Picos mountains. The beautiful blues of the water and pool are rivaled only by the Valentino executive’s kitchen, which features a similar, albeit sunnier, color palette of its own.

A Hydrangea-Framed Pool on Long Island’s East End

A pergola provides shade for an outdoor dining area. Photographed by Bjorn Wallander, Architectural Digest, July 2014

In the same July issue, another Hamptons home received its moment in the summer sun. Located on the island’s East End is the home of Juan Montoya. With its classic shingle-style architecture, liberal use of hydrangeas, and appreciation for all things blue and white, it is East Coast summer style personified. Of the poolside outdoor dining area, Montoya’s wife remarked, “It was inspired by a home we rented one summer near St.-Tropez. We love eating outdoors.” Clematis and wisteria were planted to grow on the pergola, and a variety of other verdant species were planted nearby. The pendant light is by Robert Altman, created around 1960.

Muriel Brandolinis Hampton Bays Indoor-Outdoor Pool

Spherical lights allow night swimming. Photographed by Bjorn Wallander, Architectural Digest, April 2014

Indoor swimming pools tend to get a bad rap, but not all of them exist on the same playing field, as the above example shows. Located in designer Muriel Brandolini’s home in Hampton Bays, New York, this pool’s floor-to-ceiling folding glass walls let in the sea breeze. Summer visitors who may be reluctant to shut out the fresh air can enjoy a completely shaded swim. And in winter months, the pool is still ready for action.

Liz Claibornes Caribbean Retreat

Chez Claiborne. Photographed by Buck Bruce, Architectural Digest, September 2013

The September issue of AD usually features more than a bit of fall fashion flavor, and September 2013 was no exception. The pool seen here belonged to designer Liz Claiborne, and was originally featured in the August 2004 issue of the magazine. Claiborne’s one-bedroom St Barths retreat was paradise found. Perched on a hilltop, the poured-concrete home was designed by Studio MORSA and local architect Pierre Monsaingeon. In addition to its lush nearby plantings, the pool featured a bridge over which guests could enter and leave the house.

The Private Pool of a Marrakech Villa

The Persian villa within the Es Saadi Gardens, photographed in August 2009. Photographed by Marina Faust, Architectural Digest, August 2009

At the famous Es Saadi Gardens & Resort, 10 separate villas—each with its own heated pool— make for 10 standout places to stay. Pictured here is the private pool of the Persian Villa, which is located in the middle of the property’s garden area. Tadelakt, a traditional Moroccan plaster, is the slightly reflective light blue material that so effortlessly matches the dwelling’s surrounding water.

The Quintessential Vision of David Hockney

In the feature, David Hockney was quoted as saying: “What I am doing, slowly, is making my own environment—room by room—as artists do. Of course it’s fun.” Photographed by Mary E. Nichols, Architectural Digest, April 1983

When painterly depictions of pools come up, it’s nearly impossible to avoid mentioning the great British artist David Hockney. For its April 1983 issue, AD visited the painter’s home, which famously features not just a pool, but a pool floor custom-painted by the artist himself. Writer Constance W. Glenn referred to the cerulean brushstroke marking as “Dufy-esque,” and noted that the strokes are “a motif that abounds in [Hockney’s] work.” Above, Hockney enjoys the sun, as well as the pool that “wraps languidly around” his home.


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