Part 2 of Summer Haus is a very brief and very biased tour of our favorite pools. Take off your clothes, hold your nose, and jump in! Oh, and remember to reapply your sunscreen.
Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, Italy
The Emperor Hadrian employed thousands of slaves to build his sprawling country retreat outside Rome in the 2nd Century AD. The estate cover 250 acres and boasts a treasury of art from across the Empire, particularly Greece and Egypt. This oval pool, the Canopus, must have been the scene of many a Bacchanalian toga party. The caryatids aren’t talking.
Donnell Garden, California
Living the American dream at the father of kidney-shaped pools. This iconic California landscape, designed by modernist landscape architect Thomas Church in the 1950s, is an outstanding example of laid back but sophisticated outdoor living. The biomorphic sculpture is by Adaline Kent.
Closer to home, we have Robert Moses to thank for Brooklyn’s McCarren Pool – and for nine other free, gigantic New York City pools for the 99%. Moses was a keen swimmer who competed on the Yale swim team and swam a mile a day into his 80s. Rogers Marvel Architects renovated the pool in 2012, using the original swimmer’s storage baskets on the lobby ceiling.
The Library, Koh Samui, Thailand
A base of mosaic glass tiles in orange, yellow and blood gives this pool its alarming color.
Bondi Iceberg, Bondi Beach, Australia
“Be a man, not a mollusk,” proclaim the membership rules of the Bondi Iceberg Club, so called because winter swimming is compulsory for members. The dramatic Bondi Baths, overflowing into the ocean, have been a landmark of Bondi Beach for over 100 years.
Infinity Pool, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Eat you heart out, SoHo house: This dizzying pool, on the roof of the Moshe Safdie-designed, triple-towered Marina Bay Hotel, is the world’s highest and largest rooftop infinity pool. Not for those with vertigo, this watery aerie cantilevers 65 meters off the towers, and looms 57 stories above the city.