This Marmol Radziner-designed prefab house in Las Vegas is as artful as it is art-filled, thanks to an asymmetrical arrangement of solids and voids. The single-story, glass-and-steel south wing sits alongside a swimming pool, bordered by a glass-walled pavilion for formal dining. Photo by Jill Paider.
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape. The pool feels as laterally finite as the house feels spacious—but the view goes up forever. Photo by Dean Kaufman.
The Tinbeerwah house and studio in northeastern Australia keep a low profile among the site’s eucalyptus trees, at least from the front. A square plunge pool off the first-floor living room, inspired by the concrete São Paulo houses the couple included in their “brainstorm book,” has a secondary point of entry: the master bedroom deck above, which the owner uses as a launching pad. Photo by Richard Powers.
In Santa Monica, California, where pools are plenty but not always eye-pleasing, Padraic Cassidy lifted one 30 inches off the ground. An ipe ramp climbs 30 inches from the path to the deck, which wraps around two sides of the pool. Inside, the water laps against the edges of the 29-by-31.5-foot rectangle, save for a corner notch and built-in hot tub. Photo by David Allee.
A surprisingly modern addition transforms an 1880 bungalow in Adelaide, Australia, into a spacious and sensuous abode. The homeowner says of the small lap pool in the backyard: "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." Photo by James Knowler.
Who says pools must be outdoors? In this home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a lap pool stretches across the open living area and is lit by natural light from 11 perforated, prefabricated ceiling panels. The dining area feels like an extension of the pool, with water channels on two sides. Photo by Raimund Koch.
A New Yorker who often hosts small groups of friends at his place in the Hamptons wanted a low-key arrangement built for entertaining. So he hired architect Nick Martin to design one very large space that spills over to other rooms at different elevations and connects to the outdoors through sliding glass Loewen doors. While the result is resolutely contemporary, Martin says he aimed for a design that would have been at home in Richard Neutra’s era. "[We made] no special moves or mechanical devices," he says, "just clean design and a modernist arrangement of objects." Photo by Patrick Bernard.
This Venice, California, compound—four dwellings connected by bridges and clustered around a courtyard pool—is an exuberant presence on a confined city lot. The resident/architect designed two new glass-walled buildings connected by bridges opening onto a central courtyard and lap pool—now the heart of the house—plus a home theater, exercise room, outdoor kitchen, and beach shower. Photo by Misha Gravenor.