Inspirational pool and water feature

Monday, 13 May, 2013 | Supplied by: Malibu Pools and Landscapes

This multitiered water feature and pool, designed and built by Sean Lynch of Malibu Pools and Landscapes, is a breathtaking example of engineering and contemporary flair. An infinity-edge pool and reflection pond concept has been created over three levels of this Brisbane home, showcasing the panoramic views of the city as well as creating a stunning entrance to the property.

The brief from the original meeting with this client was to create a unique pool and water feature that would be as inspiring as the house design itself. The initial design process involved the clients working closely with the house builder and the pool builder as one team to take on such a large technically challenging project. “The engineering feats achieved by the construction of this project were only surpassed by the creative style and physical enormity of this truly inspiring water feature at the entry to this home,” said Lynch.


“The site itself was almost a sheer cliff face, high above Bulimba in Queensland. Following the removal of the previous house, the site was left exposed, eroded and unsupported; it was evident this project was going to have unique challenges to designer and builder alike. The almost vertical site was enough to scare many builders off.”

Further restrictions included the narrow, one-way street, which offered very little access for cranes and staging areas required for the significant earthworks, materials and foundations. The significant engineering responsibilities to meet the client’s brief of such a large water feature, with multiple levels, dropping down over a great height, required construction of significant foundations and piers to stabilise the pool and water feature catchment ponds. Each pond is individually secured to the side of the hill with concrete and steel reinforced toe footings and piers and the main pool shell has reinforced concrete and steel piers tied into the main pool steel cage.

The pool design itself had its own challenges, including a narrow space between the house and the boundary in which to fit the resort-style lap pool. The clients also requested a top-level water feature, to start the water’s journey from the top level before spilling over the horizon edge.

In conjunction with the water feature, the clients also requested a ‘resort feel’ to the water views from the floor-to-ceiling glass along the length of the house. This was achieved via the subtle use of step stones. “The early design meetings were a process of constant changes and updates to the concept. Well before the final construction plans, these updates included running the water up as close to the house as possible to bring the water body into the house while dining with friends in the formal dining area.”

On the top level is a 10-metre lap pool that runs alongside the entertaining area of the house. The adjoining wading area has a series of stepping stones, which adds a resort feel to the urban surrounds. The swimming lane, 10 m in length and 1.8 m wide, has returns on both sides in a resort style that brings the pool deck in as part of the home space.

The multitiered water feature begins on a feature wall behind the lap pool. Water spills over the stacked-stone panels into the lap pool and then cascades over three more levels of stacked stone and reflection ponds. The water feature is transformed at night by LED lights in each of the reflection ponds, turning the water from a light turquoise to an azure blue.

The pool also boasts the latest in in-floor cleaning technology, with 100% surface coverage. There are pop-up jets on the floors of all levels and a separate filtration system and pressure pumps, all of which mean that the pool and ponds clean themselves automatically every day.

“This project is an example of the intimate relationships required in working with clients on such a large-scale project,” said Sean. “To achieve the results evident in these photos, I personally meet with each new client at their home or on their site to gain an understanding of all the elements to the project. This stage is one of the most important as I get a sense of the direction the client wants to go in regarding the overall concept.”

Project specifications:

  • Completed cost: $95,000.
  • Pool/spa constructed of: Steel reinforced concrete.
  • Shape: Rectangle resort lap pool with multiple catchment ponds and wet wall water features.
  • Pool length: 10 m; width: 1.8 to 4.5 m; depth: 1.2 to 1.8 m.
  • Pond size: 1.5 m;  width: 1 m;  depth: 1.2 m; benches: 500 mm wide with step stones and corner steps.
  • Internal finish: 1-2 mm polished ocean pebble with blue quartz and blue oxide additive. Unique dark blue quartz was used to create water space in the pool area and depth of colour at night.
  • Coping material: Imported Italian slate 250 x 500 mm square edge.
  • Pump size/type: Waterco pumps for pool, water blade and solar heating system.
  • Filter size/type: Waterco sand filters with zeolite material additive.
  • Cleaner: Barracuda Pacer automatic pool cleaner.
  • Sanitisation: Enviro-swim - fresh water system.
  • Waterline tile: Sky blue glass Italian tiles and bench highlights.


  • Remote control system: Remote control for spa blowers and therapy jets, LED pool/spa lights, infinity edge, feature wall lights and LED garden lights.
  • Lights: LED colour-changing pool and garden lights connected to the remote control system.
  • Feature lights: Stainless steel downlights around the pool house and on statues, all featuring lighting connected to the remote control for easy operation.
  • Pool heating: An automatic Sun Bather solar heating system.
  • Spa heating: Zodiac electric heat pumps and booster pumps.
  • Stacked stone: 3D charcoal stacked stone on multiple wet walls into ponds.
  • Tile pool surrounds: Natural Italian slate in 250 x 500 mm body tile and square edge coping tile.
  • Frameless glass fencing: Glass fencing stainless steel spigots to allow unobstructed views of the city and pool area.
Phone: 07 3161 8724
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