Negative edge pools can offer a big design punch along with providing any functional benefits. Increased useable space anyone?
Text Chris Nejame • Edited Dasha Satalkina
A negative edge pool erases the space between the pool and the view. It creates a connection with an object that wouldn’t ever be possible otherwise. Some might say it extends the swimming space (making it appear as if it continues to infinity) and others might suggest it brings the view closer. Whether it’s the mountains, the river, or ocean, a negative pool encourages swimmers and loungers to be whisked away. By definition, negative edge pools provide an appearance that one or more edges of the pool allow the water to flow out, uncontrollably.
The reality however is while a small amount of water is flowing out, it’s being recovered (into a basin) and returned to the actual pool. The illusion is achieved by only allowing a 1/8” to 1/4” of water to overflow – this is the negative edge. By coordinating the color of the pool’s tile and plaster finishes with the landscape behind the pool, the eye has a difficulty determining where the pool ends. The right area for a negative edge doesn’t necessarily require the best view or a large drop off in in the backyard. The effect can be just as dramatic in front of a woodsy area and on a flat surface.
The basin that collects and returns the water is often designed to be out of sight, at least for the top-side view. Sometimes, the design includes a beautiful waterfall effect from the down-side view. Although this effect is more expensive, it usually offers another independent, social environment that helps to increase usable space with a separate patio in that area.
While the most satisfying benefit of the negative edge pool is clearly visual (and perhaps emotional), the design does slightly help with keeping the pool clean. When debris falls on the surface of the pool, the edge acts like a large skimmer. Installed and constructed properly, the leaves and/or debris float for a little while and because of the flow of the water, they’re drawn right over the edge.
All the extra goodies of a swimming pool still apply to the DETAILS tranquil negative edge pool. This includes an automatic cover (in fact, that’s a good idea for every pool). Properly planned for and designed, a cover goes a long way in helping the pool save heat, minimize water loss, and increasing safety. Aesthetically, if designed well, many would be hard pressed to even know there was an automatic pool cover until the fabric was extended across the pool.
Learn more about negative pools at http://nejamepools.com.