Rooftop Pools: A Guide to Design, Benefits and Examples

Rooftop pools, an epitome of urban luxury and breathtaking views, have emerged as an architectural marvel and a coveted amenity in many cosmopolitan cities around the world. Perched high above the bustling streets, these pools provide a unique and awe-inspiring experience, combining the joys of swimming with the thrill of being surrounded by a panoramic skyline.

Whether situated atop high-rise hotels, residential buildings, or exclusive rooftop clubs, these elevated aquatic retreats offer a sense of escape and tranquility, creating a serene oasis amidst the urban landscape. In this article, we will delve into the allure of rooftop pools, exploring their architectural significance, the immersive experience they offer, and the ways in which they elevate the concept of relaxation and leisure to new heights.

rooftop pools

Design Considerations for Rooftop Pools

Rooftop pools are somewhat different than inground pools in terms of installation and structural requirements. Some of the main factors to consider when designing a rooftop pool are:

  • Weight: Rooftop pools add a significant load to the building structure, especially when filled with water and people. The weight of the pool should be calculated and distributed evenly over the roof slab, and the roof should be reinforced accordingly. The pool should also have a proper drainage system to prevent water accumulation and leakage.
  • Shape: Rooftop pools can have various shapes, depending on the available space and the desired style. Some common shapes are rectangular, oval, circular, kidney-shaped, or freeform. The shape of the pool should also match the shape of the roof and complement the architecture of the building.
  • Material: Rooftop pools can be made of different materials, such as concrete, fiberglass, vinyl, or stainless steel. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, durability, maintenance, and appearance. Concrete pools are more customizable and durable, but also more expensive and time-consuming to install. Fiberglass pools are cheaper and faster to install, but also less flexible and prone to cracking. Vinyl pools are easy to install and maintain, but also less durable and attractive. Stainless steel pools are lightweight and resistant to corrosion, but also more expensive and reflective.
  • Features: Rooftop pools can have various features to enhance their functionality and appeal, such as lighting, heating, jets, waterfalls, fountains, slides, or diving boards. These features should be chosen carefully to suit the purpose and style of the pool, as well as the budget and safety regulations. Some features may require additional plumbing, wiring, or structural support.

Benefits of Rooftop Pools

Rooftop pools offer many benefits for both owners and users, such as:

  • Views: Rooftop pools provide stunning views of the city skyline, the ocean, the mountains, or the stars. They create a sense of elevation and openness that can be relaxing and inspiring.
  • Privacy: Rooftop pools offer more privacy than ground-level pools, as they are less exposed to neighbors or passersby. They can also create a more intimate and exclusive atmosphere for socializing or romantic occasions.
  • Space: Rooftop pools save space on the ground floor that can be used for other purposes, such as parking, landscaping, or amenities. They can also make use of otherwise unused or wasted space on the roof.
  • Value: Rooftop pools can increase the value of the property by adding a unique feature that attracts more buyers or renters. They can also generate more revenue by charging higher rates or fees for access or use.

Examples of Rooftop Pools

Rooftop pools can be found in various types of buildings around the world, such as hotels, apartments, offices, or public facilities. Here are some examples of rooftop pools that showcase different designs, features, and locations:

Marina Bay SandsSingaporeA 150-meter-long infinity pool on top of a 57-story hotel tower offers panoramic views of the city skyline
The JouleDallasA cantilevered pool that extends 2.5 meters beyond the edge of a 10-story building that overlooks Main Street
Hotel FasanoRio de JaneiroAn 8-meter-long pool on top of an 8-story hotel that faces Copacabana Beach and Sugarloaf Mountain
The StandardLos AngelesA heated pool on top of a 12-story hotel that features a red AstroTurf deck, a fireplace, a bar, and a dance floor
The JamesNew YorkA 15-meter-long pool on top of an 18-story hotel that has underwater speakers, a glass wall, and a lounge area

What is the cost of building a rooftop pool?

The cost of building a rooftop pool depends on various factors, such as the size and type of pool, the materials used, the structural requirements, the permits and insurance, and the luxury features.

  • According to some sources, the average cost of a rooftop pool is typically above $100,000.
  • Installing a pool alone typically costs a minimum of $25,000 and can cost more than $100,000 depending on the size and pool type.
  • Custom pool upgrades like a pool deck, fence, hot tub, lighting, or a cover, will add $2,000 to $10,000 to your project cost.
  • You also need to consider additional costs for permits, materials and equipment transportation, structural reinforcements, and more.
  • A rooftop pool may also increase your home insurance premiums and maintenance expenses.

Are there any environmental concerns with rooftop pools?

There are some environmental concerns with rooftop pools, such as:

  • Water consumption: Rooftop pools can use a lot of water, especially in hot and dry climates where evaporation is high. Water loss can be reduced by using a pool cover, recycling water, or installing a rainwater harvesting system. However, water consumption may still be higher than other types of green roofs that use drought-tolerant plants or synthetic substrates.
  • Energy consumption: Rooftop pools can use a lot of energy, especially for heating, lighting, pumping, and filtering. Energy use can be reduced by using solar panels, LED lights, energy-efficient pumps, and filters, or natural pool systems that rely on plants and microorganisms to clean the water. However, energy consumption may still be higher than other types of green infrastructure that do not require mechanical or electrical systems.
  • Chemical pollution: Rooftop pools can use a lot of chemicals, such as chlorine, bromine, or algaecides, to sanitize the water and prevent algae growth. These chemicals can leach into the surrounding environment or the building structure, causing harm to wildlife, plants, or human health. Chemical use can be reduced by using saltwater pools, ozone generators, or natural pool systems that rely on plants and microorganisms to balance the water chemistry. However, chemical use may still be higher than other types of green roofs that do not require water treatment.


Rooftop pools have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a unique and luxurious experience for hotel guests and residents. These elevated aquatic spaces provide breathtaking views of the surrounding cityscape while offering a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle below. With their stylish design and modern amenities, rooftop pools have become a coveted feature in many urban areas.

Whether it’s a tranquil oasis to relax and unwind or a vibrant social hub for gatherings and events, rooftop pools have undoubtedly transformed the way we enjoy swimming and leisure activities. Their allure continues to grow, making them a sought-after addition to hotels, apartment complexes, and even private residences.

As more and more architects and developers recognize the value and appeal of rooftop pools, it’s safe to say that this trend is here to stay. So, if you’re looking for the ultimate combination of luxury, relaxation, and breathtaking views, look no further than the alluring world of rooftop pools.