An Exhibit of the World’s Most Stunning Private Pools

world's most stunning private pools

As someone who has a thing for swimming pools and pool art, I was thrilled to hear the news of the Domestic Pools exhibition at Villa Noailles in Hyeres, France.

Domestic Pools exhibition at Villa Noailles

world's most stunning private pools

Co-curated by Benjamin Lafore, Sébastien Martinez-Barat and Audrey Teichmann, the exhibition, which ran from February through March of this year, focused upon private swimming pools.

Through photos and models, the show retraced architectural devices employed for bathing, from their initial appearance in modern homes – for which the Villa Noailles itself serves as a notable example – to the utmost contemporary experimentations. (although I’d have added a few from our Pinterest Board).

Villa Noailles
Villa Noailles

The exhibition covered both vernacular and industrial types of private pools whose technical innovations have progressively rendered them accessible to the middle classes. Focusing exclusively upon how pools have left their mark on twentieth century architecture, the exhibition explored the culture created by private swimming pools (much like one of my favorite photographers, Slim Aarons).

Alvar Aalto designed pool at Villa Marea
The first kidney shaped pool, at Villa Marea, was built in 1939-41 by a then unknown Finnish Modernist Architect named Alvar Aalto

The exhibit featured twenty of the most stunning private swimming pools designed by renowned architects worldwide including Rem Koolhaas (OMA), Alvar Aalto, Albert Frey and more.

The red bottom pool at Casa Unifamiliar at Empordà in Girona by Ricardo Bofill:

red bottom swimming pool Casa Unifamiliar at Empordà in Girona by Ricardo Bofill
photo © Lluis Carbonell

red bottom swimming pool

The cantilevered pool at Anton Garcia-Abril’s Hemeroscopium House in Spain (about which we wrote an entire post here):

pool at Hemeroscopium House in Spain
photo © Roland Halbe

cantilevered pool

The Hearst Castle Neptune Pool by architect Julia Morgan (presently under reconstruction):
The Hearst Castle Neptune Pool by architect Julia Morgan

The Hand House (concept) by Andreas Angelidakis, Los Angeles, CA:
The Hand House (concept) by Andreas Angelidakis, Los Angeles, CA:

Arquitectonica’s Pink House pool in Miami, Florida:
Arquitectonica's Pink House pool in Miami, Florida:

Pink House pool in Miami, Florida

Albert Frey, Loewy House, 1946:
albert frey, loewy house pool

Eric Tabuchi’s Dodici vertical pools
Eric Tabuchi's Dodici vertical pools

Interior Pool for Clos Saint Bernard by Robert Mallet Stevens Image © Studio Rey, 1929

A Garden for Myriam, Saint Julian’s Malt, 1982.
Richard England, A Garden for Myriam, Saint Julian’s Malt, 1982. Image courtesy of collection Villa Noaille

The Y-5 House pool by MVRDV
The Y-5 House pool by MVRDV

The Y-5 House pool by MVRDV

Thomas Raynaud Interior Pool:
Thomas Raynaud Interior Pool:

New York Design Firm, SO-IL’s Pool:
New York Design Firm, SO-IL's Pool

Two different pools for Christain Bourdais’ Solo Houses

Solo House pool by Barozzi Veiga:
Solo House pool by Barozzi Veiga

Solo House pool by Barozzi Veiga

Solo House pool by Pezo von Ellrichshausen:
Solo House pool by Pezo von Ellrichshausen

concrete spiral staircase

Pezo von Ellrichshausen Solo House exterior:
ezo von Ellrichshausen Solo House

OMA’s rooftop pool at Villa D’allAva in Paris:
OMA rooftop pool

The pool at OMA’s Bordeaux house in Floirac, 1994-98
pool at OMA's Bordeaux house in Floirac

Most notably the exhibit featured an exclusive photo series by French photographer Romain Laprade of the little known Alain Capeillères-designed pool (early 1970s) created for the architect’s summer home hidden in the hollow of a hillside in Six-Fours-les-Plages.

The 25 meter pool has over 100,000 white ceramic tiles:
Alain Capeillères-designed pool

Alain Capeillères pool

exhibition about swimming pools

stunning pool designs

Also in the exhibit…

Swimming Pools in Cinema

Pin Up Pool Party, 2018:
Edited by Anthony Valdez.

The invention of cinema coincides almost exactly with the appearance of the first private domestic swimming pools — both are synonymous with modernity. And with the heyday of American domestic pools from the 1940s onwards, it was inevitable that Hollywood would begin to focus on this ambiguous symbol of health and well-being, but also of luxury and exclusion, that all its stars and directors possessed and enjoyed. Moreover it’s not for nothing if THE classic autobiographical dissection of Tinsel Town, “Sunset Boulevard” (Billy Wilder, 1950), opens with a pool scene. Today swimming pools still often play a key cinematic role as the catalyst and locus of desires and passions. For the exhibition “Domestic Pools” at the Villa Noailles (February 11 through March 18, 2018), PIN–UP invites you to enjoy the thrills — and frissons — that are aroused, enflamed and crystallized by domestic swimming pools on the silver screen.

Film excerpts in order of appearance:
Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971)
The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovitch, 1971)
Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon, 1998)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (Jack Sholder, 1985)
La Mala educación (Pedro Almodóvar, 2004)
The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015)
Mommy Dearest (Frank Perry, 1981)
Shivers (David Cronenberg, 1975)
A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2015)
La Piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969)
Le Maître-nageur (Jean-Louis Trintignant, 1978)
Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic, 2001)
Swimming Pool (François Ozon, 2003)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 1982)
Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
The Swimmer (Eleanor and Frank Perry, 1968)
Diamonds Are Forever (Guy Hamilton, 1971)
Something’s Got to Give (George Cukor, 1962)
Black Heaven (Gilles Marchand, 2010)
Cruel Intentions (Roger Kumble, 1999)
Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann, 1996)
Oblivion (Joseph Kosinski, 2013)
Passengers (Morten Tyldum, 2016)
Wild Things (John McNaughton, 1998)
Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995)
The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)

Views of the exhibition

The photographs below of the actual exhibition are courtesy of Lothaire Hucki:

villa noailles

Title: Domestic Pools. The private pool’s architecture.
Architects: Alvar Aalto, Manuel Aires Mateus, Andreas Angelidakis, Arquitectonica, Barozzi Veiga, Ricardo Bofill, Richard England, Ensamble, Didier Faustino, FMAU, Albert Frey, Adolf Loos, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Julien Montfort, Julia Morgan, MVRDV, Office KGDVS, OMA – Rem Koolhaas, Philippe Rahm, Thomas Raynaud, SO-IL, Pezo von Ellrichshausen
ddress: Montée de Noailles, Hyères, France

About Villa Noailles, Hyeres
The Villa Noailles, designed by Mallet Stevens for Charles and Marie Laure, holds a series of exhibitions devoted to distinguished spaces of remarkable architecture, as well as family and architecture workshops. In addition, around the exhibitions of architecture, several lectures are held throughout the program of the exhibitions.

The Domestic Pools exhibition ran from February 11th through March 18, 2018 at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, France.

information and images courtesy of Villa Noailles, Domus, and World Architecture and Romaine Laprade Exposition images ©Lothaire Hucki