Dazzling swimming pools – the lengths designers go to

What makes the best swimming pool? It's not a question to which "must be musical instrument-shaped" would be the obvious answer. Being able to do a quick 20 lengths in your living room? Why not, while you wait for dinner to cook. Swimming in hot salty water? Tried that, felt like a potato being boiled.

Pool design seems to lure people in strange and fabulous directions. I've swum in pools with films projected on the sides, with underwater music and little waterfalls, in a converted church (which had a certain frisson, to a person raised a Catholic). And the thing is, once you're in the water none of it matters.

It doesn't make a jot of difference if the water is red or lit by endangered glow bugs; if the pool is lined in gold tiles, or hanging off the edge of a building. You can't change the fundamental nature of water, you can't design it posher, though I don't suppose there are many verucca plasters blocking the filters in these places. Once you are in, what matters about swimming are the feelings it gives you. That first glide when you push off. The sense of flying, floating, freedom. And those endorphins.

You can probably feel all those things in any high-end, luxury pool. The good news is, you can get them for considerably less in your local pool (double, if it's a lido). Yes, you might also get the old plasters, the chlorine rash, other people's children. But that's what these pictures are for. Get in, and imagine.

• Jenny Landreth is the author of Swimming London, published by Aurum Press.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.