A swimming pool made from what!? These 'upcycled' designs are quick to install and they look surprisingly luxurious, too

These pools, made from an unexpected waste product, can bring down the install time by months and they look good, too

Modpools container pool
(Image credit: Modpools)

When you look at these pools, you are instantly struck by their modern design. What probably doesn't come to mind is that just months before, these pools were just shipping containers. 

Shipping container pools are the new frontier of pool ideas - designs that are both practical for how much easier they are to install than traditional pools, and eco-friendly, too. 

We sat down to learn about the process of creating a swimming pool from a shipping container with Paul Rathnam, founder of Modpools, and to find out the benefits of this type of recycled pool.

modpools modern pool ideas

(Image credit: Modpools)

‘I was inspired to build swimming pools that are shipping containers after coming back from the Palm Springs vacation,’ says Paul, ‘I realized it was always the pool I loved most about our vacations.'

Despite not being in the swimming pool or shipping container modification business Paul says the idea came naturally to him. ‘It was a no-brainer to build one out of a shipping container,’ he says, ‘I think not being from the pool industry was actually an advantage to me. As I built something based on what I wanted not what was available in the industry. 

How to you turn shipping containers into swimming pools?

Building homes from shipping containers isn't a new idea, but how does these structures hold up to the pressures of holding water for a small backyard pool

‘Containers have a pre-fabricated structure that is very resilient and strong and given the right engineering can be used to hold water,' Pauls explains. 'We sandblastm prime and finish the structure with a very durable spray-on rubber liner to ensure there is no rusting. After this process, we topcoat with a chemical-resistant paint to ensure there’s no UV damage from the sun and pool chemicals.’

What are the advantages of a shipping container pool?

'People don’t realize that most shipping containers coming to North America are single trip containers,’ says Paul, ‘meaning they don’t intend on returning them back to China and they are often sold off in the US.’ 

Utilizing this waste material dramatically cuts the cost of pool construction, ‘by using these containers to build swimming pools were using existing structures that have had much of the cost depreciated by carrying cargo,’ he explains. 

'Often times people’s yards don’t lend themselves to a traditional pool installation,' he says 'I think this is what makes our pools desirable in the marketplace. Our pools thrive on hillsides and slopes, they can be used above ground, below ground or partially in the ground. I think this is what sets our pools apart from others.'

So not only are you helping to reduce the waste of a perfectly good infrastructure you are receiving a luxe-looking pool for a fraction of the cost. 

Modpools modern pool

(Image credit: Modpools)

What is the installation process and maintenance like?

‘The installation process can be quite simple. Our pools are plug-and-play ready all that’s needed is compacted, gravel or a concrete pad, electrical and gas hookups,' Paul advises, and luckily maintenance is just as easy.

‘Maintenance for our pools is quite low as they require very little added chemicals and chlorine. I’d like to refer to the maintenance similar to a car's exterior. If you keep it clean and damage-free, it will last a very, very long time.’

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.