A Vietnamese holiday home with a thatched roof

Ten homes with water features to help keep cool on a hot day

In our latest lookbook we've collected 10 homes with water features to aid relaxation in warm weather, from an indoor reflective pool to a house perched on a pond.

Nothing is more effective than a water feature for imbuing an outdoor space with a sense of calm and tranquility.

The examples listed below demonstrate a range of different ways to introduce soothing aquatic visuals and sounds to a residential project without the need for a swimming pool.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen's archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing homes with outdoor terraces, fire pits and courtyards.


Beverly Hills villa
Photo is by Gerhard Heusch

Beverly Hills villa, USA, by Heusch

Los Angeles architecture studio Heusch renovated this mid-century Beverly Hills villa, which had been left to fall into disrepair.

As part of the work, the architecture studio uncovered this original water feature at the entrance to the home made up of two shallow pools mirroring one another through a glazed wall, one inside and one out.

Find out more about Beverly Hills villa ›


Small pools divide the interior of Portuguese house
Photo is by João Morgado

Cork Trees House, Portugal, by Trama Arquitetos

Small reflective pools divide the two main volumes of this house perched on a hillside near Braga, helping to manage the site's ambient temperature during the scorching summer months.

"Visually it is something that stands out because it is reflecting the rooms all the time and because that brings the idea of life, nature and green spaces literally through the house," said Bruno Leitão, co-founder of Trama Aquitetos.

Find out more about Cork Trees House ›


Mercer Island Modern by Garret Cord Werner in Washington state
Photo is by Benjamin Benschneider

Mercer Island Modern, USA, by Garret Cord Werner

At the entrance to Mercer Island Modern, a residence in Seattle designed by Garret Cord Werner, is a reflective pond dominated by a rock sculpture connected to a lap pool and an infinity jacuzzi by two boarded bridges.

"The experience of walking up to and...over water, both inside and outside of the home, creates a dramatic and tranquil feeling that one rarely experiences inside a residential building," said the studio.

Find out more about Mercer Island Modern ›


Volcanic rock near house
Photo is by Laure Joliet/Douglas Friedman/Marion Brenner

Kua Bay Residence, USA, by Walker Warner Architects

This house, designed by Walker Warner Architects, sits on a Hawaiian mountainside among dramatic volcanic rock formations.

Shallow pools run alongside elevated courtyards at the side of the building, forming a grotto-like terrace with the water intended to mimic molten lava.

Find out more about Kua Bay Residence ›


Casa em Cotia by Una Arquitetos
Photo is by Nelson Kon

Casa em Cotia, Brazil, by Una Arquitetos

A snaking pond winds its way around this concrete modernist house in São Paulo, designed by Una Arquitetos.

It undulates underneath a ramped walkway that connects separate volumes of the house, which have been placed on different levels in response to the sloped nature of the site.

Find out more about Casa em Cotia ›


Delfino Lozano Guadalajara house
Photo is by César Béjar

Guadalajara house, Mexico, by Delfino Lozano

Architect Delfino Lozano modernised this family home on a tight site in Guadalajara by rearranging the living spaces so they look onto a pair of brick-paved courtyards in order to bring light and air into the surrounding rooms.

The house's original fountain was retained in the smaller of the two patios, protruding from a rough, plastered boundary wall and providing a gentle background burble for the neighbouring bedroom.

Find out more about this house in Guadalajara ›


House surrounded by pond
Photo is by Hiroyuki Oki

AM House, Vietnam, by AmDesign Office, Time Architects and Creative Architects

AM House, designed by three young architects and located in a rural area of Vietnam's Long An Province, opens out onto a large koi pond around two sides of the building.

A decking area accessed by a line of stepping stones is marooned on the pond, which is intended to help the large house merge with its lush surroundings.

Find out more about AM House ›


The Perch
Photo is by Kevin Scott

The Perch, USA, by Chadbourne + Doss

Intended to instil an "idealised atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest" according to local architecture studio Chadbourne + Doss, this courtyard lies at the centre of a house in Seattle.

The main focus of the clearing is a mossy island bearing ferns, boulders and a tree, surrounded by a water feature that also has a walnut swing suspended above it.

Find out more about The Perch ›


Water feature
Photo is by Matthew Millman

Hawaiian villa, USA, by De Reus Architects

Visitors to this villa on Hawaii's Big Island, designed by US practice De Reus Architects, are greeted by a large water feature set within a paved entry court.

Igneous rock boulders emerge from the zigzag-edged feature, while a fountain spouts from one of the house's walls.

Find out more about this Hawaiian villa ›


Sierra Fria house by JJRR Arquitectura
Photo is by Nasser Malek Hernández

Casa Sierra Fría, Mexico, by JJRR/Arquitectura

One of the steel columns supporting the thin concrete canopy at the front of this home in Mexico City drops down into a black-bottomed shallow pool next to the entrance door.

Mexican studio JJRR/Arquitectura also installed a dramatic sculpture on a plinth rising up from the water, its delicate appearance contrasting with the monolithic volcanic stone wall adjacent.

Find out more about Casa Sierra Fría ›

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen's archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing homes with outdoor terraces, fire pits and courtyards.