On top of the world..

I saw an article recently about the swimming pool at the Shard in London, and how their infinity pool is the highest in Europe. Around the world there is real competition now for hotels to place there pools in stunning positions, allowing them to save valuable ground space – where once it was enough to have a pool in a sunny peaceful position, the wonders of modern architecture and construction allow designers to push the boundaries in pool placement.

swimming amongst the clouds at the Shard

This is especially useful in for indoor pools in cooler climates such as England, but has also given us jaw-dropping sights like the ones listed in this article., many to be found not to far from Australia in Asia, with cities desperate to make every square inch count.The pool top of my ‘must try’ list for years now is not surprisingly on the top of many lists, the infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore may be dwarfed by the Shard, sitting at ‘only’ 57 stories above ground, but that can easily be forgiven when you look at the sheer size of the thing, 150 metres long and straddling three hotel towers this pool looks spectacular in every sense, definitely not for the faint-hearted though!

Marina Bay Sands pool, not for the faint hearted!

Wylie’s baths

Wylies baths, best pool in Sydney

One of my favourite pools in Sydney, if not the world, has to be Wylie’s baths in Coogee. Created in 1907,¬†Wylie’s is a perfect example of the hugely popular seaside pools that were created along Australia’s coastline at the turn of the century. The daughter of the creator, Wilhelmina Wylie, was one of Australia’s first female Olympic swimmers – and with this pool to practise in I can understand why!

Wylie’s suffered a decline in the middle half of the century but, thanks major redevelopment by a forward thinking local council, was rebuilt in the 90’s to be the grand dame of swimming pools. Blessed with an unspoilt view out to the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by rocks for privacy and protection from wind, this is a lovely pool to either join the regulars in some serious lap time, or just have a leisurely dip. The addition of a wooden decked area above the pool with kiosk means you can spend some serious relaxation time here, and if you truly want to be relaxed even indulge in a rare treat, massage by the pool! She may look like an elegant old girl with her wooden outline, but Wylie’s takes a very modern view to providing excellent facilities. I never miss an opportunity to spend an afternoon down here

 

 

My first love

modern fibreglass pools are designer friendly

One of the lures for my family moving to Australia when I was a kid, was that my father promised we would have our own swimming pool. Up to that point my own experiences of swimming pools had been the over chlorinated, over crowded and rather smelly pool at our local leisure centre, where we went every week for our swimming lessons.

To have our own pool, out in the open sun, now that was worth moving half the world away for! The only problem was, the house my parents picked when we arrived had no such pool, Dad was convinced it would be easy to install one in the backyard – oh the naive Englishman. Due to costs, size constraints and peculiarities with the foundations, he chose an above ground fibreglass pool, really we didn’t care we would allow him anything as long as we got said promised pool! What started as a reasonably simple construction turned into a nightmare that threatened to ruin our dream, constant planning problems, huge rocks turning up that shouldnt have been there – our backyard was a construction zone for a long time. But, eventually it was finished – and what a joy it was, it didn’t matter that it had no surrounding or landscaping, no elegance, we knew we were just the luckiest kids in a truly lucky country.

These days fibreglass pools have come along way, and don’t have to be the poor second cousin to an in ground with the right landscaping. This is a great article to get you going if you’re thinking of your own pool.