Domestic Pools. The world’s most beautiful private pools on show

The exhibition “Domestic Pools” in Hyères, France, retraces the history of the architectural device from the 1920s until today.

Piscine d’Alain Capeillères dans le Var © Romain Laprade, 2017

A modernist home that has become a place of openness and forward-thinking initiatives, Villa Noailles in Hyères hosts “Domestic Pools”, the 2018 edition of its annual architecture exhibition, an ongoing format dedicated to cultural architectures specific to spaces intended for entertainment.

The show presents a representative selection curated by Benjamin Lafore, Sébastien Martinez-Barat, and Audrey Teichmann of twenty of the most stunning private swimming pools designed by renowned architects worldwide, including Rem Koolhaas’ Villa dall’Ava in Saint-Cloud, Adolf Loos’ design for Josephine Baker’s House in Paris (unbuilt), an unknown design by Finnish Modernist architect Alvar Aalto from the 1940s, and an exclusive photo reportage by young French photographer Romain Laprade about the white oasis designed by Alain Capeillères for his summer home hidden in the hollow of a hillside, in Six-Fours-les-Plages.

Spanning from the first architectural masterpieces of the early 1920s-1930s – of which modernist Villa Noailles, designed by Mallet Stevens for Charles and Marie Laure Noailles, serves a notable example – until the utmost contemporary developments in the field, the exhibition retraces the history of the swimming pool in architecture throughout the twentieth century, between theoretical fascination and practical approaches.

Anthony Valdez, Pin-Up Pool Party, 2018

Showcasing both vernacular and industrial examples of residential swimming pools, “Domestic Pools” also examines the cultural evolution of the architectural device employed for bathing: while a swimming pool in the 1920s was an innovative experiment of free-spirited, visionary artistic minds and a privilege reserved to the elites, nowadays it has become a more or less affordable industrially produced good for any middle-class family, just as a car.

Domestic Pools. The private pool’s architecture
Benjamin Lafore, Sébastien Martinez-Barat, Audrey Teichmann
Alvar Aalto, Manuel Aires Mateus, Andreas Angelidakis, Arquitectonica, Barozzi Veiga, Ricardo Bofill, Richard England, Ensamble, Didier Faustino, FMAU, Albert Frey, Adolf Loos, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Julien Montfort, Julia Morgan, MVRDV, Office KGDVS, OMA – Rem Koolhaas, Philippe Rahm, Thomas Raynaud, SO-IL, Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Villa Noailles
Opening dates:
11 February – 18 March 2018
Montée de Noailles, Hyères, France

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