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The Swimming Pool That Dreams Are Made Of

Romain Laprade's Photo Series Takes Us On An Idyllic Journey

A diving board captured by Romain Laprade

architecture & interior visual culture

Throughout popular culture, the glistening and rippled surface of a crystal blue swimming pool serves as an iconic representation of a life blessed by luxury. A symbol of freedom and escape, the image of a seductive pool is almost powerful enough to make you question your life spent in the daily grind.

Used to adorn the work of artists, writers, and directors alike, it's an idyllic prop that regardless of its place, shimmers with glamor. David Hockney's 1972 work Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), Helmut Newton's career-long poolside obsession, and even Wham!'s 80's pop bonanza Club Tropicana, set in the legendary Ibizian party villa Pikes Hotel-the format, and context may be different but the sentiment stays the same-this is where you want to be, right now.

Image showing shadow of a palm tree poolside. Photo: Romain Laprade
The exhibition the series was featured in titled “Domestic Pools” examined the cultural evolution of the pool. While a swimming pool in the 1920s was an innovative experiment and a privilege reserved to the elites, nowadays it has become a more or less affordable for any middle-class family, just as a car. Photo: Romain Laprade.

"It's one of the most amazing places I've ever shot, it's not just impressive, this pool is a masterpiece."

As part of a photography project hosted by Villa Noailles, titled “Domestic Pools”, Romain Laprade stumbled upon a pool to seduce even the most refined pool connoisseurs. Designed by architect Alain Capeillères for his summer home hidden in the hollow of a French hillside, in Six-Fours-les-Plages, the young photographer was quickly blown away by the white oasis. "It's one of the most amazing places I've ever shot, it's not just impressive, this pool is a masterpiece."

Overlooking the sea, Capeillères' excavated part of the sloping site, freeing up an area which is protected from the wind and surrounded by retaining walls. Covered with more than 100,000 white ceramic tiles, the curved architectural setting houses a 25-meter long central pool.

Palm trees and pool by Romain Laprade
The project was a request from the Villa Noailles in 2018 for their annual architecture exhibition. Itself an impressive example of architecture, Villa Noailles is an early modernist house built by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for art patrons Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, between 1923 and 1927. Photo: Romain Laprade.

Oversized and open-air, the pool is in a world of its own, inhabited only by the shadows of the surrounding landscape. We've picked our favorite shots by Romain and featured them in a gallery. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Diving board into beautiful pool by Romain Laprade

The pool, hammock and lamps. Photo:Romain Laprade

One tall and one small lamp. Photo: Romain Laprade.

Hammock, cubs and lamp. Poolside. Photo: Romain Laprade

Lamp and Hammock poolside. Photo: Romain Laprade

The full pool by Romain Laprade