An ocean home pool can nestle into a grotto, cascade down a hillside or fill the space between the wings of a house. Chances are, if a swimming pool can be configured into an unusual or individualistic shape or location, Mission Pools of Escondido, Calif., has designed and built it in its 50-year history.

But even Chief Financial Officer Brad Cotton admits that this pool and spa (pictured) in nearby Carlsbad are special. “The swimming pool is specially designed to be an architectural feature, and to mirror the shape of the house,” he says.

Kiko Beach House is all sinuous curves, undulating from one rounded wall to the next. Tucked between the Pacific-facing waves of the house and the sands of the beach is a stepped bluestone terrace with space for dining, sunbathing and surfboards.

The centerpiece of the multi-story exterior area is a 26-foot elliptical swimming pool, its curves nestling into those of the house like the petals of a flower. From the lower level of the terrace, windows look into the water of the pool like those of an aquarium.

“There is not one straight line in the house,” says San Diego designer Wolfram Kalber, who was responsible for the house design and its adjoining pool and spa. “The look is all curves to reflect the sensuality of the sea. My company specializes in designing beachfront homes and this was the ultimate job.”

Master Pool builder Mission Pools worked with Wolf Design Build on this iconic pool at Kiko Beach House in Carlsbad, Calif.

The spa, built of clear acrylic, provided the defining curve as well as the consummate wow factor. Perched above the pool, it takes the shape of a bowl and, at the push of a button, water splashes from the spa down into the swimming pool.

The plumbing is hidden in the stainless steel support braces that also double as decorative elements. “As far as the spa is concerned,” says Cotton, “it looks like a Champagne glass gently overflowing into the pool.” To add to the glamour, Kalber designated that the pool be lined with Italian glass tiles in an intense shade of cobalt blue flecked with gold, and Mission Pools rose to the challenge.

While it looks fantastical and purely decorative, this pool has real function. Seven feet deep at one end, it features a beach entry for children and an Olympic-level jet for swimming. An automated glass floor was designed to cover the pool, enabling revelers to dance and walk on water, although that has yet to be installed.

For more information on Mission Pools, visit For more information on Wolfram Halber, visit

Image Credits: Photos by David Hartig.