Modern Pool Designs: Perimeter-Overflow Pools

You may have passed a reflecting pool and seen this amazing effect: the water’s surface looks like a flat sheet of glass or appears to be perfectly contained without walls.

This effect is created by a perimeter overflow, a style used in many modern swimming pool designs in which the water overflows its edges and flows into a hidden slot or catch basin where it is then recycled back into the pool. This function is similar to an infinity-edge pool, but with a perimeter overflow, the water overflows on all four sides.

There are two main types of perimeter-overflow pools and spas: deck-level and raised. Deck-level perimeter-overflow pools are a popular style for contemporary homes. Many deck-level pools feature raised perimeter-overflow spas, which have a unique cube-like look.

Above: Accented with an exquisite Royal Danby marble deck, this knife-edge, perimeter-overflow pool is the perfect complement to the contemporary home. The pool’s sleek lines and flawless angles combined with a dynamic use of avant-garde outdoor amenities, make this a masterpiece of modern art.

Photo courtesy of Drakeley Swimming Pool Company; Photography by Jeffrey Boucher

Deck-Level Perimeter Overflow Pools

When the surface of the pool is flush with the deck, it creates a highly reflective surface and sleek contemporary look. The water appears motionless as it flows over all the edges simultaneously. Additional water features are not commonly included on perimeter overflow designs because the falling water would disrupt the pool’s smooth surface.

A deck-level perimeter overflow is often called “knife-edge” and “zero edge” because the slot where the water falls is almost invisible. It is also called “Lautner-edge” after Los Angeles architect John Lautner who first adopted the concept.

Above: Located off the coast of Connecticut, this deck-level, perimeter-overflow pool is surrounded by a 24-inch bluestone frame and Ipe wood deck. Its interior color and shape help to create a mirror-like effect.

See more perimeter-overflow pools by Aquatic Consultants, Inc./Brian Van Bower, Miami, FL >>

Dark interior finishes help to produce the mirror-like surface of the perimeter overflow. This is often used for reflecting pools as well as swimming pools.

About this pool: This perimeter-overflow pool is finished in Black Pearl Pebble Tec® that is surrounded with a combination of polished and sand-blasted absolute black granite. It features a black granite waterwall, plenty of deck space for entertaining, and even has an in-floor cleaning system. The planters, landscaping, and stamped-concrete deck make this poolscape truly exquisite.


Check out more pool photos by Westside Watershapes, Fort Worth, TX >>

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