Dezeen Magazine

Aerial view of Surrey pool house by Surman Weston

Ten tranquil pool houses that add luxury to gardens

Pool houses that nestle into gardens of homes around the world are the focus of this roundup, which includes a semicircular pavilion in the UK and a pink-concrete shelter in Belgium.

Pool houses are typically free-standing buildings designed to accompany swimming pools, providing swimmers with changing facilities and creating an architectural focal point in a garden.

Ranging from simple shading devices to more extravagant structures for resting, cooking and socialising, they vary in size and style and offer users the feel of a luxury summer retreat just by stepping outside.

Read on for 10 tranquil pool houses that add luxury to gardens:

Brick pool house by Knox Bhavan buried under a grass mound in the garden of a Kent home
Photo by Knox Bhavan

Pembury Pool House, UK, by Knox Bhavan

Disguised as a brick garden wall, this pool house was designed by Knox Bhavan to be "virtually invisible" within the grounds of a Georgian home in Kent.

To achieve this, the building takes advantage of an existing slope and retaining wall on the site. A short colonnade shelters a seating area and leads into a skylit shower, storage area and plant room, while steps on either side lead up to a walk-on roof.

Find out more about Pembury Pool House ›

The Refuge pavillion and pool house by NWLND Rogiers Vandeputte
Photo by Johnny Umans

Refuge, Belgium, by NWLND Rogiers Vandeputte

Coloured concrete forms the walls of this sculptural pavilion, which can be found beside a pool of water in a wooded garden in Flanders.

Intended to contrast the verdant surroundings, the pink walls also extend out around the swimming pond – a type of pool that uses a natural filtration system.

Find out more about Refuge ›

The Pool House, Canada, by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Photo by James Brittain

The Pool House, Canada, by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Mies van der Rohe's seminal Barcelona Pavilion informed the design of this pool house, which MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects created for a home in southern Quebec.

The minimalist structure features a material palette of concrete, glass and wood and incorporates a shaded terrace, gym and areas for changing and bathing.

Find out more about The Pool House ›

Modern Pool House, Spain, by Roz Barr Architects
Photo by John Maclean

Modern Pool House, Spain, by Roz Barr Architects

Stone walls and trees surround this rustic poolside shelter, which Roz Barr Architects created on the grounds of a farmhouse in the Sierra Nevada region.

It has a whitewashed-concrete structure, built with vernacular construction techniques chosen by the studio to "respect both the local craftspeople and means of construction as well as the landscape and climate".

Find out more about Modern Pool House ›

La Grange Pavilion exterior by Murray Legge Architecture
Photo by Leonid Furmansky

La Grange Pavilion, USA, by Murray Legge Architecture

In Texas, Murray Legge Architecture designed a pavilion around the trunks of oak trees in the yard of a hillside house. Holes in its wooden canopy also allow branches to pass through it.

The structure shades an outdoor lounge and a dining space that stretches out across a single horizontal plane.

Find out more about La Grange Pavilion ›

Pool House, India, by 42mm Architecture
Photo by Ravi Kanade

Pool House, India, by 42mm Architecture

This concrete pool house in the garden of a New Delhi house has a smooth, curved shell that its architect designed to evoke "a pebble in the grass".

"Asserting its presence with a singular, bold and robust frame, this house sits impressively within its surroundings," said Indian studio 42mm Architecture.

Find out more about Pool House ›

Aerial view of Surrey pool house by Surman Weston
Photo by Jim Stephenson

Heathside Poolhouse, UK, by Surman Weston

Heathside Poolhouse is a semicircular pavilion elevated on a round plinth in the gardens of a home in Surrey. It is lined with full-height sliding doors and crowned by a roof made of corrugated metal.

The curved form of the building juxtaposes the long, linear shape of the pool and contains space for a kitchen and seating area, a bathroom and storage, which Surman Weston framed with exposed Douglas fir.

Find out more about Heathside Poolhouse ›

Poolhouse O, Belgium, by Steven Vandenborre
Photo by Tim Van de Velde

Poolhouse O, Belgium, by Steven Vandenborre

Steven Vandenborre opted for a chunky concrete structure and frameless glazing for this poolside building, which forms part of a house in Bruges.

The pavilion, which has a deliberately simple design, occupies a spot at the far end of the client's large garden, nestling in amongst the surrounding plants so that it is hidden from view.

Find out more about Poolhouse O ›

Shelter Island Pool House, USA, by General Assembly
Photo by Joe Fletcher

Shelter Island Pool House, USA, by General Assembly

Blackened wood clads the exterior of this cabin, which is designed as a garden retreat for the owners of a remote residence at the eastern end of Long Island.

The structure was divided into two volumes that are punctured by expanses of glass and linked by a central pergola and an external terrace that runs along its front elevation.

Find out more about Shelter Island Pool House ›

San Lucas Pavilion, Spain, by FRPO
Photo by Miguel de Guzmán

San Lucas Pavilion, Spain, by FRPO

Architecture studio FRPO designed this Spanish pool house to accompany a group of residences on the outskirts of Madrid.

While providing shelter for swimming, the gridded concrete structure also contains white-tiled counters for food preparation and cooking.

Find out more about San Lucas Pavilion ›