In California, the kidney-shaped pool has become an icon not just for its repeated form in thousands of water barren backyards, but also due to its association with skateboarding. In the mid-1970s, the Golden State was struck with a serious drought, forbidding its citizens to fill up their pools with water. These empty, concrete basins instead became playgrounds for skateboarders inventing new tricks on a surface they had never played before. Years later, it's still being done in a similar fashion in skate parks that mimic the same forms of these curvaceous edifices.
But you'd be surprised to find out that the first rendition of this amoebe-shaped pool was actually in Finland, and designed by Finnish design duo Alvar and Aino Aalto, at the Villa Mairea designed for their friends Harry and Maire Gullichsen. True to their "Gesamtkunstwerk" approach, which translates to "a total work of art," the pool is an integral part of the site, bringing in organic yet modern forms.
But this may leave you wondering how it ended up in the United States. According to Transworld Skate magazine, landscape architect Thomas Church visited the Finnish site in 1937 when Aalto gave him a tour of the personal residence. The American designer later came up with the shapes for the Donnell Garden swimming pools in Sonoma, Calif., featuring round shapes similar to Aalto's.
To read more about this, head over to Transworld Skate.