Free form Shaped Pools

The Advantages of a Freeform-Shaped Swimming Pool

In Ask the Pool Experts by Platinum Pools

Are you one of the homeowners who have a unique landscape and dream of having a swimming pool?  Great news!  Freeform swimming pools are the best swimming pool shape to take advantage of the available space and work within the whole terrain. 

A freeform swimming pool has a naturalistic or irregular style and shape, with curves or flowing lines. Contemporary freeform pools often have rock and waterfall features and are designed to resemble a natural pond, lake, or oasis.  However, many homeowners find that they may have issues with irregular landscaping or that the backyard is too small.  Do not to worry!  The trend of freeform pools is that it’s perfect for small spaces and terrain.

Today, we call the design a “custom” design, but it comes with a purpose.  Freeform pools provide endless options.  There is a variety to choose; from the kidney to the irregular, they provide flowing lines, curves, and defined edges.  Freeform pools create a space in a backyard.  Contrary to the round or rectangular look, freeform shapes can adapt to an area.  In other words, it provides an organic look, like if it was always part of the landscape. 


A freeform designed pool comes with various options.  Some prefer the classic kidney shape.  Others prefer to choose from an array of looks that can go from natural to casual style and shape.  Lines, curves, and defining edges is what makes the design modern.

freeform shaped custom pool

Beauty or Function?  That is the Question

The advantage of a freeform pool is that it gives room for swimming and beautifies your backyard.  Considering priorities is essential when selecting a shape.  If the client’s preference is swimming, it is often good to opt for a fuller, rounder-type pool shape with flowing lines. 

On the other hand, if beauty comes to mind, then probably stretching it more with more curves is a great option.  There are many accessories to add to the beauty and usage of your swimming pool such as tanning ledges, beach entries, in-pool tables, and chairs, etc.  Platinum Pools has professionals who can assess the landscape and recommend the best design based on your needs.

How This Trend Started?

The first freeform pools appeared in California, which dominated residential pool design in the 20th century. One of the oases was for Pickfair, the Los Angeles estate owned by actors and Hollywood power couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.  Built in 1920 the pool was constructed above a 100-foot banana-shaped tank and featured a sandy shore along one side. The other was made by Pascal Paddock (of Paddock Pool fame) and featured poolside landscaping to give the feeling of a natural pool or pond. 

After World War II residential swimming pools were on the rise.  At the time, the number grew from 2,500 to 57,000 in the first part of the 1950s.  Most of them were kidney and freeform designs that Phillip Ilsley created.  He and his wife built a freeform pool at their property located in Hollywood Hills, in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

The kidney-shaped pool became a popular design, as confirmed by the designer and builder Thomas Church.  He and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin built a swimming pool for the Donnell family in Sonoma.  Since then, many have followed suit with biomorphic shapes.

Don’t let your imagination stop you from having the swimming pool of your dreams.  A call to Platinum Pools and the staff is ready to walk you step-by-step in making dreams come true.  Visit our offices in Houston, Beaumont or Victoria to start building your perfect backyard or you can also visit our website to learn more.