22 July 2016
Underwater pool windows
Having underwater windows of acrylic-like plexiglas in swimming pools has become something of a trend in recent years. In the past, it was seen as something of a luxury, as swimming pools with underwater windows could only be found in the most exclusive of locations.
These days, however, they are much easier to obtain and install. Underwater windows are often used by swimming instructors, allowing them to stay dry whilst observing learners or divers at eye level. Not only does this permit instructors to critique the strokes and different styles of swimmers, it is also highly useful to choreograph synchronised swimming.
As this is a hybrid style of swimming that involves dancing, gymnastics and a large proportion of spinning and twirling underwater, being able to monitor these moves at eye level is highly beneficial for those in a supervision role. Round acrylic windows are undoubtedly one of the most popular choices. Aquatic creatures are also often observed through the same type of windows in zoos or fish hatcheries, where harvests are monitored during their development.
Pool windows not only have their functional purposes. Increasingly, modern architects are incorporating them into their designs simply for the aesthetic edge and sense of luxury that they exude. Having windows in your swimming pool can also bring some much needed natural light to adjoining rooms or spaces, as the transparency of the water bounces the light into different directions.
Submerged skylight windows are placed on the bottom of pools to transfer natural light to the floor underneath, and are generally used with shallow pools. It is even possible to have a complete acrylic pool and have an overflow edge for an infinity view.
Acrylic is used today mostly because it transmits much more light than conventional glass. Besides that it has higher impact resistance than glass, and can be polished back to its original state if scratched. It can also be moulded into a variety of different shapes, which is particularly useful for rounded corners. The thickness of the acrylic blocks used for each swimming pool should vary, depending on the depth of the water.
Thanks to secure glazing systems, retainer flanges made out of stainless steel and polymeric sealants, installations will always be supremely watertight.
For camera users, these windows make the whole process of filmmaking and photography for underwater scenes and images a whole lot more practical. The need for scuba diving or any other specialised equipment is relinquished, and allows the cameraman more time to film. This allows the cameraman to get the shots required and the lighting right, whilst also keeping the film crew dry.
Medical & industrial
Many hospitals and clinics have adopted the use of acrylic pool windows to observe patients that are undertaking aquatic physical therapy. Hydrotherapy is used to treat a number of different ailments for animals and humans alike, and the underwater pools have long been utilised for arthritis research. As well as for medical use, they are also prominent in water purification plants to test the quality of water.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool design, construction and refurbishment, so if you need advice on a brand new pool, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice.
Photo: Holland Aqua Sight.