The Great Bath at the site of Mohenjo-Daro in modern-day Pakistan was most likely the first swimming pool, created some time around 3000 BC. A long way from present-day Beverly Hills, perhaps, but the basic concept has changed very little even if the design has evolved beyond imagination.
In the past 50 years swimming pools have become an essential element of luxury residential and resort design, and now we finally have a book up to the task of portraying and celebrating the very best examples.
Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool by Annie Kelly with photographs by Tim Street-Porter, being published by Rizzoli next week and now available to order on Amazon, is certainly going to grace a lot of coffee tables. It features more than 200 full-color images in as many pages, divided into chapters titled Garden Pools, Architectural Pools, Infinity Pools, and Fantasy Pools.
It's nothing short of a "celebration of the style, design, and joy that these private retreats bring to us," from "glimmering infinity pools with a view of the ocean and lush garden pools to dramatic cascading waterfall pools," located in "beautifully landscaped backyards, dramatic beaches, and tropical paradise surroundings."
With advances in technology and swimming pool supplies, pools can now assume myriad shapes, echoing the edgy architecture of the residences they're built for or assuming more organic forms to better blend in with the surrounding landscape.
In the book, you'll also find a few pools owned by famous folk such as Cher and Dianne Keaton along with leading designers like Bunny Williams and Carolyne Roehm and masterpieces by famed architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, and Luis Barragán.
The book concludes with a section on poolside elements, from landscaping, tiles, patterned surfaces, and Jacuzzis to often elaborate pool houses, outdoor showers, furnishings, and much everything else you can think of to "provide both inspiration and information", whether you're actually designing a pool or just dreaming about one.
So come on in, the water's fine....