s mountain architects predominantly specializing in mountain style homes, we aren’t asked very often to design infinity edge pools on the building sites. For this hilltop Mexican style beach house, near the city of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, we were given the opportunity, designing an organically shaped home and infinity edge pool hovering over the Pacific Ocean.
The site is steeply sloping, with a guest house towards the top, the main residence in the center, and the pool just below. The guest house, pool, and landscaping are being constructed in phase one, with the main house to follow later.
These photos show the recently completed pool. Infinity edge pools, also called vanishing edge pools, have no curb on the down-slope side, so the water cascades over the edge. At the right angles, this gives the illusion of the water continuing into an ocean, lake, or river beyond. There is a different affect when there is a city, forest or other landscaping beyond, though it can be just as dramatic, if not more so. The water cascades over the edge, into a receiving channel, and is recycled back into the pool.
This particular pool is intricately detailed in Mexican style, and creates its own shimmering light show under sunlight. Thousands of elliptical glass tiles were placed one at a time at the bottom of the pool, with even smaller square tiles along the walls, curb, and outer walls into the drainage basin. Needless to say, labor is cheap in Mexico.
Many thanks to Sandau Builders for sending me these photos. Most of us in the Northern Hemisphere can only dream about places like this during the winter.
John Hendricks, AIA Architect
At Hendricks Architecture, we specialize in the mountain architectural style, but have designed all over the spectrum, from beach houses in Mexico to storybook cottages in the northeastern United States. We’re located in Sandpoint, Idaho.