The Innovative Elegance of Italian Pool Design

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4 S 524 Aq Studioapostoli Photoby Studio Progress Lg
Photo courtesy Studio Progress

Logo Header 65fc64715cdd3As a new member of the GENESIS faculty, I am excited to share my experiences with the evolution of European pool design and technology. Drawing on my Genesislogocollaboration with Piscine Oggi, the premier Italian magazine in the pool industry, I'd like to offer some insights from master Italian pool architects. Their innovative trends promise to offer inspiration on an international level.

Let's start with taking a look at the recent masterpieces produced in a land with a rich design tradition in hydraulics dating back to the Roman thermal baths.

Even the most elemental and traditional features can serve as wellsprings of inspiration. Take, for instance, the common drinking troughs found amidst the rustic views of rural Tuscany; the simple rectangular shape transforms into a pool, naturally inserting itself into the geography.

Simplicity in design is balanced with the latest in high technology, providing accessories for wellness and relaxation like hydro-massage areas, counter-current swimming systems for physical fitness and safety systems, all in an energy-efficient package. In addition, automated systems now make maintenance of architecturally stunning pools simple and easy. Essentially, it's the seamless integration of technology and accessories that elevates the simple pool outline into a space of enhanced appreciation and enjoyment.

Just as prominent is the rediscovery of the pool as a reflection of the beautiful and unique surrounding nature found in the Italian landscape. Italy, geographically a small country and with delicate landscapes, approaches the industry of swimming pools with a soft touch that evokes, more than ever before, the spirit of the local area. Dominating the market are pools that appear to be natural lakes with the use of sand and stones, where the realization of the traditional pool has an accent of biological nuances. This trend of sustainability and aesthetic insertion brings about the aspect of the pool as a center for wellness and well-being, in addition to being a place for physical fitness. The pool becomes an element offering users a 360-degree sensation of feeling good.

Accenting form and function is the reinterpretation of pool entrances: With shallow beach-like shores with sand and effervescent special effects, one can lie on their sunbed while feeling the bubbly waters splash on their feet. Also popular are the Roman step entrances that take up the width of the pool, allowing a place to sit and wade while at the same time creating a strong visual impact. Touching another aspect of human sensitivity is the element of light: Completing the wellness environment is the use of LED lighting, allowing a soft emotional impact as day approaches dusk.

Now it's time to dive into further detail of the latest and best design trends in Italian pool design and technology by taking a look at the winners of the 13th edition of the Italian Pool Award. Founded by Piscine Oggi β€” a publication that boasts over 50 years in the sector β€” the magazine decided to honor the architects and engineers on the edge of Italian pool design with this valuable award. Presented every February at the international trade show ForumPiscine, there were five winning pools out of the 40 contestants, one each in the following categories: Residential Indoor, Residential Outdoor, Commercial Outdoor, Biopool, and Special Recognition AIAPP (Italian Association of Landscape Architecture). 




4 N 524 Aq Indalopiscine Photoby Studio Daido LgPhoto courtesy Studio Daido


This pool was recognized for its modern and essential enhancemenat of the home's minimalist style. The result is a strong visual impact that is perfectly integrated into the surrounding context. In spite of its simple appearance, the pool boasts a highly technological system, using elements for wellness and refined details that make it unique.




4 R 524 Aq Piscineverbano Photoby Foto Pony LgPhoto courtesy Foto Pony


Despite the challenge of conforming its form and depth to the confines of limited space, this pool proves exceptional design craftsmanship, integrated with the surrounding residence. A kaleidoscope of colors emitting from an array of light sources form a harmonious chromatic symphony that creates a shimmering effect, inviting users to a corner of relaxation and rejuvenation.




4 S 524 Aq Studioapostoli Photoby Studio Progress LgPhoto courtesy Studio Progress


This pool is a product of an accurate study of the environmental context surrounding it. With total respect to the natural curves of the terrain, it really becomes the protagonist of the scenery. With a prominent visual presence, the pool enhances rather than disturbs the original beauty of the landscape.




4 Q 524 Aq Milla LgPhoto courtesy Milla


This biopool approached an arduous context by successfully inserting itself in a harmonious and elegant way. While maintaining its identity as a biopool, it has a series of technological elements that are typical of the traditional pool, making it a perfect union between nature and innovation.




4 T 524 Aq Syspiscine Photoby Studio Parallelo32 Vincenzo Siciliano LgPhoto courtesy Studio Parallelo 32 - Vincenzo Siciliano


The AIAPP recognition was awarded to this pool for its successful insertion into the historical rural tapestry of the Salentino landscape.The skillful use of traditional materials seamlessly unites various aspects of the pool, from the tones of water that enhance the pool to its ability to alternate between moments of emptiness and fullness, creating a dynamic interplay of space and form. Settled in a landscape of red stones and earth penetrated by the Mediterranean sun and vegetation, the pool harmoniously fuses with the surrounding aesthetic. Scattered elements of vegetation accent the composition and enhance the axis perspectives of the pool. Furnishings, arbors, and trellises complete this outdoor wellness environment while maintaining the simple rural and authentic style. Even the technological choices of management are in line with environmental sustainability, reduction of chemicals, and low energetic consumption through the use of renewable sources that respect the natural context.




4 O 524 Aq Lamber+lamber Photoby Fabio Mantovani LgPhoto courtesy Fabio Mantovani


ForumPiscine has added the Facebook Award as an opportunity for the public to judge their favorite pool rather than a professional jury. Piscine Oggi's Facebook page exhibited the 40 candidates that entered the event, reaching out to thousands of users. With more than 2,200 Likes dispersed among the contestants along with 200 Shares, the project that was favored by most was the pool designed by Lamber+Lamber, with 603 Likes. A residential outdoor pool, this vessel appears to be a blue rectangle of water suspended above the ground. The residence connects with the pool directly through the dining area, opening up to a sheer infinity edge all around the borders. A true example of less is more.


 This review and study of the protagonists of the Italian swimming pool market gives us a glimpse at how the tendencies are moving toward a rediscovery and reinterpretation of nature. Soft geometries that respect the environment mixed with high technology and pool accessories is the new identikit of the Made in Italy pool. Learn more about Made in Italy and other European design trends in future GENESIS courses.

Maria Moscato is a lecturer, fine artist, and designer based in Bologna, Italy, with a background in sustainable design and architecture. She has been teaching a wide range of subjects, from ceramics to microeconomics, for 20 years. Moscato is a certified building technician in Italy with experience in 3D modeling and AutoCAD. She joined the GENESIS faculty in April 2024 and will be developing design curriculum focused on the successful trends she has seen around Europe.

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