Looking for some new reading material this winter? We’ve compiled a short list of swimming pool related books that have peaked our interest over the years. There are also two new books due out in the spring that look very interesting!
Although others have written eloquently on the relationship of water to built form, until now no one has investigated the swimming pool as a quintessentially modern and American space, reflecting America’s infatuation with hygiene, skin, and recreation. In The Springboard in the Pond, Thomas van Leeuwen looks at a familiar hole—the domestic swimming pool—and discovers an icon indispensable to the reading of twentieth-century modernism.
At one level, the book is a rereading of modern architecture that will leave that story permanently altered. At another level, it is the story of the origin and evolution of the private swimming pool as a building type and cultural artifact. And at still another level, it is a material philosophy of water. Van Leeuwen explores the human relationship to water from a variety of viewpoints: social, religious, artistic, sexual, psychological, technical, and above all architectural. Throughout the book, he weaves a series of analogies to three emblematic animals—frog, swan, and penguin—that represent the three prevailing human attitudes toward water: hydrophilia, hydrophobia, and ambivalence. The books many illustrations—drawings, plans, and photographs—come from an unusual variety of sources, creating what is surely the most provocative visual archive of the swimming pool ever assembled.
Few constructions better epitomize leisure and comfort than the swimming pool. Although at times pools serve landscaping or sporting functions, most often swimming pools are associated with lazy hours enjoyed under the sun in a bathing suit, the only concern being to finish a beverage before the ice cubes melt. Spectacular Pools presents a selection of some of the most stunning swimming pools in the world. Included are more than twenty-five inspirational pools located in both the coastal and inland United States, on the Mediterranean, and in the Caribbean, Australia, and Asia, providing a spectacular overview of different pool designs and creations from all over the world.
A photographic leap into cooling waters – The Swimming Pool in Photography invites readers to dive into the cultural history of swimming pools. As long as 5,000 years ago, the allure of the sea inspired humans to recreate its essence in miniature artistic forms, such as public baths where ancient rituals would take place. Since then, swimming pools have become status symbols and a source for a gamut of purposes from athletics to the simple pleasure of just being in water. It is no wonder, then, that filmmakers and photographers constantly return to the swimming pool as a subject and setting.
Reflections of water and light are captured in countless unique ways in the more than 200 compelling images of pools and swimmers that comprise this catalog. The Swimming Pool in Photography includes works by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gigi Cifali, Stuart Franklin, Harry Gruyaert, Emma Hartvig, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr, Paolo Pelligrin, Mack Sennett, Alec Soth, Larry Sultan, Alex Webb and many others.
This celebration of the style, design, and joy that pools bring to us brims with over 200 glamorous photographs. It is organized by swimming pool design–from glimmering infinity pools with a view of the ocean to dramatic cascading waterfall pools and those in lush garden settings. Ranging from beautifully landscaped backyards to dramatic beaches and tropical paradise surroundings, the stunning pool locales show creative examples of pools as architecture and organic forms. In the mix are seductive pools owned by such celebrities as Cher and Dianne Keaton and leading designers Bunny Williams and Carolyne Roehm, as well as masterpieces by famed architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, and Luis Barragán. Splash concludes with a section on poolside elements, from tiled steps, patterned surfaces, and Jacuzzis to pool houses with outdoor showers, landscaping, furnishings, and much more. Every example evokes the enduring and irresistible appeal of the swimming pool.
These next two books are due out this spring!
The 1930s architecture of pools is often sleek and elegant, evoking speed and efficiency—and this volume captures their unique beauty in a series of spectacular photographs and archival images. It delves into their history: the pools’ grand beginnings after the buttoned-up Victorian era, their falling popularity in the twentieth century, and the newfound appreciation for the outdoor pool, or lido, and outdoor swimming today. Journalist and architectural historian Christopher Beanland picks the very best examples from around the world, including the nearly 450-foot-deep seawater pool in Vancouver, Canada; Siza’s concrete sea pools in Porto, Portugal; the restored art deco pool in Saltdean, UK, and the pool at the Zollverein Coal Mines in Essen, Germany. There’s also information on lost lidos, background on the architecture of the pools, and interviews with pool users around the globe about why they swim.
A celebratory ode to the joy and enduring allure of the swimming pool, and a gorgeous photography book to accompany poolside daydreaming. Glamorous, seductive, and fun, made for lounging, frolicking, splashing, dipping, diving, floating, and escaping, swimming pools are symbols of both sport and leisure and conjure images of well-oiled bodies, colorful bikinis, and glimmering blue waters on hot summer days. Muse to writers, artists, photographers, and filmmakers, the swimming pool’s careless opulence is splashed across the pages of this book in gorgeous images by contemporary photographers. In her second book for Rizzoli, curator, writer, and avid swimmer Lou Stoppard offers the promise of sunshine and the seduction of youth in her edit of some of the best contemporary swimming-pool photography.
Organized by theme, from the glamour of the poolside party to the simple, meditative pleasure of being in the water, the selected photographs are as inspiring as they are moving. Photographers whose images are featured in this book include Sølve Sundsbø, Glen Luchford, Stephen Shore, Mert & Marcus, Diana Markosian, Martin Parr, Martine Franck, Alex Webb, Alice Hawkins, and Nick Knight. This is the perfect gift purchase for photography fans, swimmers, and lovers of leisure.