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Compact Hybrid Swimming Pools

The squeeze of the great Aussie Backyard has seen the advent of the Compact Hybrid Swimming Pool, in new developments, inner city areas and areas of urban consolidation.

The squeeze of the great Aussie Backyard has seen the advent of the Compact Hybrid Swimming Pool, in new developments, inner city areas and areas of urban consolidation.
Space is a premium but there has not been a decline in the desire for a refreshing summer dip in the backyard swimming pool.

The challenge has been set – reinterpret the backyard swimming pool. Make it more compact in size whilst maximising their functional and aesthetic features. A swimming pool is often one of the larger elements in your landscape portfolio and one with impressive returns of up to 400% on your investment, if well designed and seamlessly integrated into the landscape.

With compact pools the rules have changed; hybrid pools have features of both plunge pools and features of spas. Features such as intricate curved free formed lounges, which double as swim out areas and if integrated well can be fitted with spa jets.

The consideration of water as a space rather than a volume allows the unshackling from traditional pool layouts to explore how the pool users interact with each other.


1. Oversized bench areas which operate like a chaise

2. Circular or square spaces more like a conversation pit than a spa

3. Theatre like seats which allow the viewing of your favourite Blu Ray on a balmy summer evening.

With compact size the active pool sometimes takes a back seat literally, swimming laps in a compact pool is less of an option unless you include swim jets. With the removed expectation of lap swimming comes the opportunity to alter the internal form of the pool for more passive purposes.

The design of compact pools also requires special consideration for the construction of the surrounding structures as usually the pool interfaces with foundations or walls associated with the home or other structural walls. Extra engineering or salt tolerant masonry may be required to ensure the longevity of the construction.

Compact swimming pools allow a greater freedom when selecting materials for inclusion with the pool. Internal and external finishes such as mosaic tiles, honed concrete or natural stone become more achievable options. Integrated glass walls are a striking feature with air bubblers giving an aquarium look.

The integration of technology such as:

1. Inbuilt pool cleaning systems

2. Gas heating

3. Spa jets

4. LED lighting features

5. Swim jets.

Normally where a compact pool is desired space is tight and enclosing the pool to comply with pool fencing regulations requires more creative solutions such as elevating the pool out of the ground by 1200mm so that the pool walls become the pool fence. Spas are allowed lockable covers allowing innovative options can be explored with covers which double as day beds in winter for example.

With compact swimming pools we usually see adjoining spaces which are intrinsically linked with an internal living space. Integrated function dictates the use of this adjoining space and the elements which are included there.


1. An outdoor shower

2. Day bed or sun lounge

3. Outdoor cooking – bbq or pizza oven

4. Shade structures

5. Outdoor projector screen or TV.

For more information on compact hybrid swimming pools, contact ecodesign on
02 9871 7701 or visit