Anyone who’s been to a high-end resort or hotel in the last few years will have taken a dip in one of these amazing pools. Infinity pools are also known as vanishing or disappearing edge pools as they seem to just drop into the horizon at one or more edges, giving users a feeling of mystery and relaxation.
These pools add a touch of glamour and wonder into the space they’re in, especially on bright days, when the water takes on the colour of the sky and seems to join seamlessly with it.
How does it work
Although the effect is sublime, the nuts and bolts are quite prosaic, but don’t let that discourage you. It all works with some clever sculpting and plumbing – the main walls of the pool are at water level and they also slope downwards away from the centre of the pool. This is what creates the waterfall effect.
The water doesn’t actually fall off the edge of the earth, though, it falls into a basin, or catch pool, that’s underneath the infinity edge. This water is simply pumped back into the main pool.
You have to be clever
It’s all about the image – you must put the vanishing edge somewhere where you can’t see the catch pool as this destroys the mystique somewhat. This is why infinity pools are often on slopes or on high rise buildings. Gentler slopes are better than steep, as steeper slopes may mean some earthworks first.
You also have to get the catch basin right – it should be deep enough to catch all the overflow but not so deep that its water levels are always low. Then the catch pool needs its own pump, filter and pipes.
Could you have an infinity pool?
Who wouldn’t want one?
However, it’s not going to work for everyone. You need a great view, really. If your garden is on a slope or a terrace, then infinity away. However, if your pool will mirror your ratty old trellis or the neighbour’s shed wall, then that’s not so great.
Similarly, if you live in a mid-century (or older) house with a more traditional sort of garden, then you’d be better off with a more traditional dug-in pool. If you’re on a hill, or somewhere with a big sky, then go for it.