Backyard Oasis

This summer, between two dips, you might think to yourself: the pool – or rather, the private pool – is a paradox: a place where exercise meets fun meets corporal sensuality. 

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It is also a status symbol, one that we are eager to enjoy with our loved ones. So of course, if you think of a place like California, where the swimming pool is a widespread fixture, you might notice that this phenomenon has all the hallmarks of the American way of life: success, health, family and seduction. This book offers an architectural perspective, in particular through a few Case Study Houses; but also a sociological one, examining the cult of male body image. The pool as an object has also captivated artists, from David Hockney to Ed Ruscha and Larry Sultan, who have sought to capture an elusive shape through the evanescent lens of the water. Backyard Oasis is a combination of all these approaches, and would be at home in several categories of the library, which is quite rare.


Backyard Oasis, The swimming pool in Southern California 1945-1982,
2012, 256 p. Ed. Prestel – Palm Spring Art Museum.
Kenzo, 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.