Neon Retro Swimming Club

The swimming club by POW Ideas is a pool and event deck situated on the 11th-floor rooftop of KL Journal Hotel, a boutique hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Being in the tropics, the pool deck is envisioned to be an urban retreat for city dwellers and also shoppers from the adjacent shopping district of Bukit Bintang.


Inspired by the imagery of David Hockney’s artworks, the pool deck is comprised of four main components: a bar, a dining area, a terraced deck and a mezzanine event space. Taking cues from the vibrant colours in Hockney’s works and his use of patterns, lines and planes, the pool deck is designed by pow to be individualistic and alluring at every corner.

The main deck is tiered into two-levels to provide space for the hotel water tanks below but reimagined as a tiered series of planter boxes and seating, allowing pool users to have dynamic social encounters. Kl-based branding agency, from Landsunknown provided an identity for the logo and also geometrical graphics for the custom bent steel grilles that help break down the space into smaller and more private nooks.

POW Ideas also collaborated with London-trained local fashion designer, Cassey Gan, who was coincidentally developing a new collection of prints inspired by Hockney. Their collaboration gave birth to a bespoke series of modular and stackable outdoor furniture using Gan’s prints as upholstery for the seat cushions. Hand-made rattan chairs and stools lend a rustic and nostalgic touch to the pool.

A large steel roof with an openable red canvas fabric spans across the entire length of the space, providing a visual connection and also shading against the harsh tropical weather. Custom-made timber blinds with the logo of the swimming club not only provides shading but also a visual identity, visible from the ground level shopping district below. As the sun sets, hand-written neon signs illuminate the walls, encapsulating the 1960s spirit the pool projects. Three giant neon rings cast an artificial sunset against the pool water, transforming the lush sun-kissed pool deck into a space for an intimate and sensual night out.

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