I think Jethro might have gotten the terminology correct when referring to the swimming pool in the rear of his Beverly Hills mansion as “the cement pond.” The term swimming pool implies a hole with water in it where you can swim, a pond brings up an image of an open air space that can be used in a multitude of ways year round. When discussing the design or redesign of a swim feature with a client they inevitably talk of multiple uses such as entertaining, lounging, grilling, recreation, exercise, relaxation and of course swimming.
The residential swimming pool of yesteryear has changed dramatically. Gone are the days of a four-foot ribbon of concrete banding a rectangle pool. The water vessels themselves are changing, smaller size, non dive, gray bottom, interior lounging benches, waterfalls, fountains, beach entries and the list goes on. One of the biggest changes I have seen in my career is the use of space surrounding the pool itself, it has expanded to facilitate full scope outdoor living that far exceeds just getting in and out of the pool. People are also using their pool areas beyond the traditional swim season to include year round outdoor activities such as cool weather entertainment, cooking, lounging, fireside chats and even outdoor football game watching.
No matter if you call it a “cement pond,” swimming pool, watershape or swim feature, one thing is for certain, with the substantial dollar investment made in a swim feature you also need to put in an equal amount of mental investment in the design/ planning of the total outdoor environment.