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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.
dumpster pool 2
dumpster pool 3
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.
dumpster pool 4
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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.
Essence Festival 2009
Essence Festival 2009

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.”