A dumpster pool can be a simple as an old skip lined with waterproof material, but give it a little more attention to detail and it can look just as slick as an expensive modern backyard built-in. Experimental architect Stefan Beese makes a case for classier dumpster pools with ‘The Pool Box,’ a 22-by-7-foot steel container lined with protective foam insulation and surrounded by a deck.
Installed in the designer’s own backyard, The Pool Box disguises the container in a framework of wooden slats made of pressure-treated pine boards. Minimalist and geometric, this casing takes its inspiration from Japanese bath design and complements the horizontal clapboards of the adjacent house and fence.
The container itself provides a pretty ideal water-tight, structurally sound base for the pool that won’t require a lot of maintenance and can be packed up and transported elsewhere if you decide to move. Prior to installation, Beese leveled the grade of the yard and added a layer of limestone to prevent pool chemicals from seeping into the soil. The clean steel box was treated with an anti-corrosion paint and lined with half-inch high-density foam before a custom-fit flexible pool liner was added.
Says the designer, “Most trash containers have an indentation on one end to allow the bod to be winched onto a flatbed truck. Instead of causing a design problem, the indentation presented an opportunity. By building a rectangular shelf over the indentation, the container provided swimmers with a place to conveniently lower themselves into the 5-foot-deep water, making a ladder unnecessary.”