How can architects market their pool designs?

Two architectural firms experts in pool design tell us the main codes to know about the pool sector.

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It is vital to highlight your expertise as an architect in designs for private pools or water centers to open the doors to even larger aquatic projects. But the pool sector has its own codes and the launch pads are not necessarily the same as for other construction sectors. Two architectural firms, both winners of a Pool Design Award in 2018, tell us what they do!

Pool Portopiccolo SPA, Studio Apostoli
© Photo credit: Eric Cuvillier

More and more, architects are asked to design pools 

To better understand how to highlight and orient the fact that your architectural practice specializes in swimming pools, you have to understand the dynamics of the pool sector and how projects develop. Two experienced architectural firms, both of which had already shared their vision of what makes pools exceptional on our blog review what has changed in their businesses.  

For Studio Apostoli, winner in the most beautiful swimming pool for tourism and leisure category at the Pool Design Awards 2018, the very concept of a pool has evolved a lot. And so has the typology of clients contacting the firm! Most clients were local in 1997 but now its expertise attracts international companies.  

Providing the "swimming pool" service is no longer enough. Both sports and relaxation pools inside accommodation facilities must be 'emotional'. The trend in pools is the indoor/outdoor concept, i.e. a natural continuation from internal to external space as well the introduction of accessories, such as hydromassage jets, beds etc. We mainly design heated swimming pools with a high technological content and which require great care in the final design phase.

As for the public pool market, Brochet Lajus Pueyo, winners of the most beautiful public swimming pool trophy have also noticed significant change. The problem: the lack of equipment in and obsolescence of existing pools (in France, most public pools were built 35 years ago!). 

Water centers feature high on the list of projects open to tender. So statistically we quote for more and more of them when they are built by public authorities. However, over the last few years the way in which contracts are awarded has changed considerably. In the case of contracts worth over 10 million euros exclusive of sales tax, public works management is more focused on design-implementation or global performance markets, and less on owner/supplier relationships as defined in the French MOP law*. Modifications to orders, as experience shows, usually harm projects and the end result. Programs are also diversifying with the need for equipment meeting a wide range of requirements: sports (clubs, competition organization), teaching (schools) and wellness/leisure (e.g. water games and fitness spaces, saunas, Turkish baths and slides).

The evolution of the pool market over the last 40 years

Aquatique multiplex Saint Hilaire de Riez, Agence Brochet Lajus Pueyo
© Photo credit: Jean-François Tremege

Choosing the right media in which to highlight your pool designs 

Studio Apostoli has carried out numerous projects in the field of wellness and hospitality, centered on pools. In business for 20 years, Studio Apostoli capitalized on the awards it has won in several architectural competitions, six of which were directly related to pool design.  

Thanks to major projects and the awards obtained, we have been able to focus on communicating on design to achieve international visibility and win new customers. The values that we communicate and that have always accompanied our interventions, via our team of 60 professionals, speak for themselves. These include an accurate aesthetic study of the space and a combination of specialist skills, from project management to marketing. We also promote our experience through press releases and our social networks.

For Brochet Lajus Pueyo, architectural competitions are vital in promoting their business. Competitions are moments in time but you need to communicate all year long! Paul-Louis Imbaud, the agency's project manager, reveals a few additional channels. 

We communicate about our water park achievements in several ways. 

  • We highlight water park references on our website and social networks 
  • We have a special catalogue for water parks and sports equipment
  • We participate in pool sector information and training days 
  • We advertise in the trade press, like Centres Aquatiques Magazine.

Architectural competitions dedicated to swimming pools are by far the best way to gain visibility and recognition. Have you designed an exceptional swimming pool that you want to highlight? Registration for the Pool Design Awards 2020 contest, the centerpiece of the International Piscine Global Europe Show is open until July 15 2020! This year, we are pleased to announce the creation of a new category for plunge pools.

Click here to get the Pool Design Awards 2020 contest rules

* French Law 85-704 dated July 12, 1985 relating to public ownership and its relationship with private ownership.

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