mountain pool

There is a strangeness about many pools one finds in the tropics; they never feel particularly pleasant to climb into at certain times of the afternoon. Over the warmest months of the year, they will not feel quite so nice even during the best times of the day. The problem lies in heat gain - most tropical pools are basically warm. Clingingly humid. Tepid.

The best tropical pools have a crispness about them, a quick chill, which then becomes soothing cool balm; pools of water commonly fed by higher altitude and mountain water. The feeder streams of the Columbia River Gorge and Wildwoods in Oregon have absolutely lovely plunge pool water in summer, but like the lakes and mining pools in the Northeast of America, are temperate. The river pools with almost perfect water must surely be those at Tirtagangga in Bali. Breath-catching for a brief moment on first entry, brisk bracing water under an equatorial sun. A touch colder than the breakers of Diamond Head in Oahu, but warmer than late summer snowmelt in New Zealand.

The concept of the mountain pool is one designed for tropical application.

It begins and ends with the finish of raw concrete and by working the shade of trees around and over a third of the pool surface for any given moment of the day, to reduce the effect of the pool as a heat sink and for the collective effect of fallen leaves and flowers, stream-like and translucent green grey. The mountain pool is about unabridged economy, mottled shadows and flecks of sunlight at play, texture underfoot and the balm of cold sea-coloured water on a humid sun stoked day.



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