Inspired by 19th-century botanical conservatories, known for their beautiful integration of classical forms with industrial details, this pool house cleverly adapts to make the most of every season. The goal, says Marcus Gleysteen, principal at Gleysteen Design, was to create an enclosed pool space “that could serve many, many functions.”

The building is outfitted with folding glass walls and an operable glass roof that uses greenhouse technology to open the roof’s glass panels on command. When temperatures cool, the highly efficient structure provides an escape from long New England winters, thanks to an ingenious geothermal system of ground-source pumps.

“If you don’t design a glass structure correctly in New England and there’s a pool inside, you’ll get massive condensation on the inside of the windows,” Gleysteen explains. “This system can control both the temperature and the humidity.”

Special Focus

Category Outbuilding/Accessory unit
Entrant/Architect Gleysteen Design, Cambridge, Mass.
Builder Wellen Construction, Marlborough, Mass.
Landscape architect Stantec, Boston
HVAC and pool consultant Combined Energy Systems, Lowell, Mass.

The pool and spa are lined with glass mosaic tiles, but instead of holding to the building’s classical style, the pool takes a modernist twist with an abstract mural done in micro tile. “I grew up in Europe, and there it’s very common to go into a beautiful classical building and see modern art hanging on the walls,” Gleysteen says. “I’m very comfortable mixing styles.” So when given the chance to do “a wild, abstract painting on the floor of the pool,” he went for it.