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Worldclass Design: Lake Como’s Floating Infinity Pool

Herzog & De Meuron has designed the world’s most extensive floating infinity pool at Lake Como for the Mandarin Oriental.

Known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps, it’s easy to see why Lake Como has long been the go-to destination for the rich and famous. Standing proud amid the lush greenery of a botanical park on the lake’s south-east shores, the 19th-century Villa Roccabruna, with its bold neoclassical lines, perfectly encapsulates the romance of the destination, not least because it is the former home of one of Italy’s most beloved opera singers, Giuditta Pasta.


Floating infinity pool transforms the lakeside experience

These days, the property has been transformed into a hotel by the Mandarin Oriental group, and includes a total of 21 rooms, 52 suites, two standalone villas, two restaurants and an award-winning lower-level spa, designed by Swiss architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron.

This season, the resort stepped things up again, with the launch of its much-awaited 40m floating infinity pool – the largest in the world. Created by the same firm, the pool, from the lake, is a beauty to look at, an understated addition that complements the villa’s original architecture and the lower vaulted stone colonnade it sits against.

Finishing the pool in dark local Cardoso sandstone, the aim for Herzog & de Meuron was to blend it seamlessly into the lake’s cobalt-blue waters. As such, the long infinity edge facing the lake creates an optical illusion, while the glossy deep green of the prefabricated steel structure reflects the water’s surface.

Designed in Switzerland, constructed in Finland and assembled in Italy, the pool was an engineering feat in itself, created with a catamaran-like form to reduce wave impact, invisibly secured to the lake bed, and connected via a ramp to the newly established bar and dining area of the reactivated colonnade.

Here, NAMI Café is a relaxed spot that serves a casual poolside menu of pizzas, burgers and salads, alongside a selection of cocktails and healthy juices, all framed by the historic stone arches of the original building.

In other words, the ultimate elevation to a destination already teeming with some of the best hotels in the world.

Find out more about the hotel and architecture here:



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