Exterior of the concrete Cork Oak House in Portugal

Ten gardens with swimming pools that are made for summer

As summer continues in the northern hemisphere, we've curated a lookbook of lush gardens with private swimming pools that are perfect for cooling off in balmy weather.

Outdoor pools have existed for centuries, but it wasn't until the 1950s that they became a household staple for many people living in warmer climates.

Today they can be found in all shapes and sizes, standing bold above the ground or embedded within it to create a more subtle addition to an outdoor area.

The examples listed in this roundup demonstrate that contemporary architects are opting for the latter, achieving visually simple pool designs that slot seamlessly into their landscapes.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen's archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing organic modern design, bookshelf staircases and homes with hammocks.

Swimming pool at Moore House in the US
Photography is by Joe Fletcher

Moore House, USA, by Craig Ellwood

This 18-metre lap pool was added into the sloped backyard of architect Craig Ellwood's mid-century Moore House in Los Angeles during a renovation by US studio Woods + Dangaran.

On one side, its slender perimeter meets a terrace and original rock-lined koi pond, while its other edge runs alongside adjacent treetops due to the site's gradient.

Find out more about Moore House ›

The garden outside the concrete Cork Oak House
Photo is by Ivo Tavares

Cork Oak House, Portugal, by Hugo Pereira

Architect Hugo Pereira designed a low-lying linear form for this concrete house in Portugal, which is echoed by its elongated pool that sits flush with the ground.

Demarcating the surface change between water and grass is a wooden deck, furnished with a white Low Lita armchair by Paola Navone that is ideal for lounging in after a dip in the water.

Find out more about Cork Oak House ›

Linear pool outside Ksaraah house in Bangalore
Photo is by Harshan Thomson

Ksaraah, India, by Taliesyn

The architectural diversity of the Ksaraah House in Bangalore is mirrored in its garden, where a swimming pool is accompanied by tiered terraces, snaking pathways and tropical planting.

Architecture studio Taliesyn designed a simple look for the water feature, combining a rectangular form with square stone slabs that retain focus on the house.

Find out more about Ksaraah ›

Lush garden of M House by Pitsou Kedem Architects
Photo is by Amit Geron

M3 House, Israel, by Pitsou Kedem Architects

A statement swimming pool forms the centrepiece of the lush garden at the M3 House, which architecture studio Pitsou Kedem Architects designed in Israel.

Bounded by unevenly-shaped stone slabs and lined with agate-green tiles, it blends in with the hues of the surrounding mature trees, grasses and shrubs.

Find out more about M3 House ›

Tropical courtyard of San Ignacio beach home
Photo is by Luis Young

San Ignacio, Mexico, by Palma

This Mexican home on the Pacific coast is organised around its circular swimming pool, which sits at the heart of a gravel-lined and plant-filled tropical garden.

Shallow edges of the pool cause the water to create reflections of the trees while offering users a space to sit before immersing themselves in the deep section at its centre.

Find out more about San Ignacio ›

Pool and meadow outside Los Altos Residence by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Photo is by Nic Lehoux

Los Altos Residence, USA, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

A wide pathway that runs the length of the outdoor space at Los Altos Residence is flanked by a meadow and a slender pool overlooked by two tan butterfly chairs.

The pared-back pool is an apt accompaniment to the low-slung dwelling, which was designed by American firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson with a deliberately simple layout and detailing.

Find out more about Los Altos Residence ›

Pool with earthenware tiles at Casa Ter
Photo is by Salva Lopez

Casa Ter, Spain, by Mesura

Architecture studio Mesura visually connected the Casa Ter house with its private pool by using a consistent terracotta-hued material palette of pigmented concrete and earthenware tiles.

The tiles line both the terrace and the pool, as well as the series of stairs that form a link between them. The earthenware can also be found internally on ceilings and doorways.

Find out more about Casa Ter ›

Aerial view of Villa Aa terrace
Photo is by Ivar Kaal

Villa Aa, Norway, by CF Møller Architects

This vast garden terrace is almost double the footprint of its adjoining Norwegian house. It incorporates flower beds, seating and two pools – one for swimming and one for collecting rainwater.

According to its architect CF Møller Architects, "the water in the pools reflects the sky and light in the same way as the fjord does, and appears as a visual connection to the open water".

Find out more about Villa Aa ›

Swimming pool outside Casa Aviv in Mexico
Photo is by Cesar Bejar

Casa Aviv, Mexico, by CO-LAB

Surrounded by lush greenery on a site hidden on the Yucatán Peninsula coastline, the Casa Aviv residence is designed to offer a calming atmosphere.

In its garden is a compact plunge pool with crystalline water that flows right to the edges of the home, and is accessed by steps down from the adjoining living room.

Find out more about Casa Aviv ›

Garden of dark brick house in Sweden
Photo is by Markus Linderoth

Villa Tennisvägen, Sweden, by Johan Sundberg Arkitektur

A pool area slots effortlessly into the centre of the verdant courtyard at Villa Tennisvägen, a dark brick home nestled in a ​pine forest in the Swedish county of Skåne.

The water is used as an anchor for the dwelling, which Swedish studio Johan Sundberg Arkitektur designed as a series of interconnected volumes arranged in a U-shape.

Find out more about Villa Tennisvägen ›

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen's archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing organic modern design, bookshelf staircases and homes with hammocks.

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