Best Modern Swimming Pool Designs

Pools are amazing fun, so it’s perfectly understandable why so many homeowners fall in love with them. They make an incredible space for entertaining, and they’re also great for unwinding. Whether you see a pool as a fun addition or even a part of your exercise regimen, it’s good to remember that it’s more than just a hole in the ground with water in it.

The development of technology, materials, and architectural advancement of pools over the years make them truly impressive feats. The modern pool has come far, and its history dates back further than you may imagine. What people think of as modern pools today owe a lot to the pools of the 1940s. If you want inspiration for a pool design that will be truly captivating and expressive, it’s not a bad idea to learn a little bit about the artistry of pools.

A Textbook Example

Thomas Church, Lawrence Halprin, and George Rockrise designed the Donnell Garden in Sonoma, CA, in 1948 for Dewey and Jean Donnell. The garden features what is commonly considered to be one of the very first modern swimming pools, and it’s a textbook example of Modernist design. It’s also one of the most well-preserved examples still in existence.

The biomorphic shape should be somewhat familiar to you, since we now have kidney pools. However, they weren’t always as common as they are today. The pool has a small island, which boasts a sculpture from Adaline Kent, and it includes a floating deck. Although it might not seem awe-inspiring or groundbreaking by today’s standards, the Donnell Pool helped to establish the modern pool designs of today.


Contemporary pools often fall into one of two classifications: either architectural or naturalistic. Architectural pools deliver clean lines and have geometric shapes or patterns. Pools that are triangular or even diamond shaped are excellent examples of architectural pools.

However, it’s not just the angles that are a signature of architectural pools. These pools are specifically designed, constructed, and engineered to compliment the home and its architecture. Indeed, that’s how they get their name. If you want a pool that appears to be a seamless addition to your home, even if it was added decades later, then an architectural pool is a great choice.


Naturalistic pools are inspired by nature and incorporate those elements into the design. This includes gradual, beach-like entrances or faux-rock formations. These pools are often accompanied by waterfalls. You’ll notice that the landscaping is usually themed and built to match. You may see be tropical foliage or rocky hardscape that’s integrated into the area.

Instead of geometry deciding the pool’s design, you’ll see freeform shapes used. These are often smoother and more gradual, with less clearly distinct or sharp lines. If you want a pool that truly makes you feel like you’re part of the outdoors, then you’ll love a naturalistic pool. Be sure to let your swimming pool contractors in Atlanta know which style speaks to you.

We have had the privilege of being awarded more than 60 Design Awards in every award category, including custom residential concrete pools, commercial concrete pools, in-ground vinyl liner pools, and major renovations. Hilltop was named one of the “Top 50 Pool Builders in the USA” by Pool and Spa News in 2013-2017. Pool builders across the United States were evaluated in several areas, including the total number of pools built, customer service, certifications, industry involvement, employee retention, as well as advertising and social media presence. Our company was also nationally recognized for customer service and social media. We were the only Georgia company on the list in 2016 and 2017!

We would consider it a privilege to design and construct your project and have you as a member of our “Hilltop Family.”