Stapleton Pool House Number 3 / Semple Brown Design

© Miller Hall Photography

With an identical program to the previous two pool houses, by for the Stapleton Development, Pool House Number 3 departs from the design concept with the placement of individual pavilions set in the landscape. Weaving through and around the pavilions, the landscape creates an intimate and peaceful experience for the bathers. The surrounding landscape and the pointedly placed one-hundred and fifty foot long planter, which defines the northern courtyard, soften the white concrete pavilions and provide privacy to the street façade. The simple pavilions nestle themselves into the neighborhood-scape.

Architect: Semple Brown Design, P.C.
Location: Denver, , USA
Project Team: Sarah Semple Brown (Principal in Charge of Design), Chris Davis (Architect), Renee del Gaudio (Design/Job Captain)
Landscape Consultant: Paradigm Affiliates
Civil Engineering: Harris Kocher Smith
Pool Contractor: Monarch Pools
Public Art/Graphic Walls: UrbanRock Design
Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Consultant: Reese Engineering
General Contractor: Mortenson Construction
Structural Engineer: McGlamery Structural Group
Project Area: 2,760 sqf
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: Miller Hall Photography

© Miller Hall Photography

The plan consists of three white concrete pavilions, identical in size, forming the men and women restrooms and check-in area. The fourth, housing the mechanical and electrical equipment, contrasts its sleek counterparts with rough sawn, weathered cedar siding of random widths.

© Miller Hall Photography

A low-lying roof extends one-hundred and fifty feet long providing shelter to the interior spaces, while circulation corridors are left open to the sky. Punctures in the roof allow natural light to flood the corridors in which the outdoor sinks, mirrors, benches, and showers are located. The largest opening allows a tree to grow up from the building courtyard and out through the roof.


The building provides two distinctive facades, to the south the interior facade provides bathers with a simple, quiet material palette. The roof overhangs six feet providing bathers with welcome shade from the summer sun and nurturing space.

© Miller Hall Photography

To the south, the exterior façade provides a more intriguing face. Three photographic panels, with artwork that compliments the simple architectural elements of the pool house, are incorporated into the design. At night, the interior light of the pavilions provide backlight in turn transforming it into a floating, glowing sculptural light-box.

© Miller Hall Photography

The public art, “Conditional Reflections”, depicts the temporal condition of water – solid, liquid, and vapor. Each panel has a close-up image of a “condition” of water. Just as the seasonal use of the pool marks change, “Conditional Reflections”: provides a meditation on the elusive nature of water. Concrete cylindrical seats are arranged accordingly to the molecular structure of each corresponding condition of water. Changing by day and night, summer and winter, “Conditional Reflections” will offer a variety of readings.


Great effort was taken to design an environmentally-friendly structure by minimizing its footprint and maximizing the open-space around it. The landscape incorporates native low-water plants and grasses throughout. The project encourages pedestrian traffic by eliminating parking and increasing bike storage spots. In efforts to conserve water, the men’s restroom is equipped with waterless urinals and the roof collects rainwater and diverts it to the landscape to reduce use of potable water for irrigation. The one-hundred and fifty foot planter is built out of recycled runway blast fencing from the original Stapleton Airport; wild grasses grow out of the planter to create a living wall of privacy to the street façade.

© Miller Hall Photography

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Stapleton Pool House Number 3 / Semple Brown Design" 03 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 Mar 2015. <>
  • arch18

    Another generic, corporate modernist project in Denver. Why is there so little interesting work in the middle of the country? Won’t anyone take a risk on something new?

    • archaalto

      ^ another generic, un-constructive comment which reflects how easy it is to criticize a project that you obviously do not understand and have not visited.
      this site is for grown-ups with contributions by professionals, so please come back when you wake up from your spectating slumber.