The impulse to construct lofted buildings to live in and sunken swimming pools to swim in makes a lot of sense given humanity's arboreal origin story and the fact that natural pools are almost always, you know, in the ground. That being said, there's no evolutionary equivalent to floating in a water-filled plexiglass bubble hundreds of feet over the ground (but think how relaxed our simian forbears would have been sitting safely in an elevated waterhole). Anyway, what unnecessary home thing humanity can do, humanity will do, and we totally have the technology to suspend swimmers in the sky high above our cities. Below: eight of the most amazing.
↑ Why have just one sky pool at the top of a skyscraper—with all the attendant elevator log-jamming and inconvenience of having to leave your apartment for a swim—when you could just design a residential tower with a swimming pool for each unit? That's the thinking behind this project for Lima, Peru, proposed by Mexico City firm DCCP Arquitectos, in which each of the ten multi-level condos would have its own pool jutting out from the tower at a perpendicular angle.
↑ New York City is not without its own proposed sky pools. Take, for example, this West Chelsea penthouse, with an attendant private pool set to be built atop a planned 19-story residential tower designed by starchitect Norman Foster. The 61-foot-long pool would feature some of the best views in the city, as swimmers could look down on the Hudson River as they practice their breaststroke or float on a plastic raft, sipping Moscow Mules as the setting sun drops behind the Hoboken skyline.
↑ If you lived in one of the two towers that would make up Sky Habitat, there will be no need to take the elevator down to the ground floor to pay a visit to your pals in the other tower. Bridging that 164-foot gap will be a pool 38 stories above the street. The design by Moshe Sadfie is planned for a 2015 opening in Singapore.
↑ Seoul, South Korea, doesn't leap to mind when contemplating the sky pool hotspots of the world, but this planned residential tower in the Yongsan International Business District of the Korean capital will plant a pool 623 feet above the city, a height that is only two-thirds up the length of the proposed building. The design by Kohn Pedersen Fox would cantilever the pool out over the tower's shaft, letting swimmers lazily drift amongst the skyscrapers in the Daniel Libeskind-planned district. Though, it should be said, the verdict's still out on whether or not this pipedream will, uh, actually happen.
↑ This proposed Mumbai tower is very much on board with the one-private-pool-per-apartment concept, including a glass sky pool on the (rail-less!) balcony of each unit. Presumably to calm the nerves of swimmers who venture out into the precarious pools, each condo in the 30-story tower designed by James Law Cybertecture is designed in the shape of ohm. Namaste!
↑ In the infinity pool capital of the world, Los Angeles, renderings for a sky pool atop the Korean Air-financed, 73-story tower (set to spring up in hotter-than-hot downtown area) were just unveiled. The pool, which would be part of an "outdoor living room," would be the highest on the West Coast, and should prove to be an interesting place to be during significant seismic events.
↑ Miami's planned Echo Brickell, an ultra-luxurious residential tower designed by Carlos Ott, will place an infinity pool and lounge at the 300-foot mark of the 57-story structure. The waterbody is designed to go completely through the building, providing 360-degree views of Miami, Biscayne Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, just steps (or strokes) away from Bermuda shorts-wearing bartenders.
↑ The skyline of the Australian city of Melbourne would get a boost should the 100-story Australia 108 tower go through as planned, and thrill-seeking swimmers will be happy to know that the design includes a sky pool thrusting out over the city from the 84th floor of the massive structure, with glass flooring completing the illusion of floating above the earth in a chlorinated womb.