Minimalist Masterpiece

By Gary Kilworth, Director, Out From The Blue
Friday, 21 December, 2012

The laminated glass panel that forms an entire side of the pool and a continuation of the primary window into the living room of the house, along with the toughened heat soaked glass panel that forms the spillover between spa and swimming pool are perfect examples of OFTB's commitment to setting new benchmarks in innovative swimming pool construction in Australia.

Whilst these two stunning features are what catch the eye, at first glance, it is the Smartsyd 'Steel Grey' pool tile that comes to life when the sunlight hits the pool between 11am and 1pm when the sun is shining. At this particular time the dimpled tile sends a myriad of reflections right through the sunken living area of the house. But it does not stop here; at the far end of the pool there is a stunningly minimal bluestone clad feature wall that sets off the backdrop to the pool. 

The pool shell was engineered to provide appropriate load bearing for the 2.9m wall that sits on top of the pool shell and extends itself right the way across the pool terrace. The bluestone cladding finishes at the top of the spa bench seat and it's fully submerged at this point. It was therefore imperative that the appropriate sealant was applied to the stone to ensure its protection. 

Another interesting feature that stands out and sets this pool apart is the considerable overhang of the insitu concrete pool coping. Whereas the coping for most swimming pools may be around 30-50mm, the coping in this pool is overhung by 200mm. What this promotes is a fantastic shadow line at either side of the body of water. 

A substantial amount of consultation with structural engineers and subsequent detailed specification was required to successfully install the pool shell with laminated glass panel at the house end of the pool. Considering that the concrete shell would also need to allow provision for steel columns that would support the adjacent walls of the proposed house there was therefore no margin for error in the set out, formwork, pouring and spraying. 

The panel slot rebate in both the base of the pool shell and on its sides along with the rebate for the glass spa spill-over, needed to be free of debris and needed to have a perfectly smooth surface to ensure maximum traction between materials; this was achieved by applying a non-shrink grout base. 

Due to the size and weight of the glass, the panel for the pool window was delivered and hand craned into position before blocking the cavity out with polystyrene and timber braces. These braces had weep holes in them to allow air to escape thus avoiding air pockets during gravity fed grouting. The glass to the spa spill over was installed by hand, using the same processes. It was also important to allow for extra steel reinforcement to the concrete shell at the end of the pool to ensure the pool shell could provide the appropriate footing and load bearing capabilities for the proposed feature wall. 

The degree of craftsmanship required to execute the pool build, in conjunction with house and landscape construction, in such a tight space, should be commended. Every detail has been sweated over by all parties to ensure the perfect blend between the interior and exterior. 

Pool Specifications

  • Type of Pool or Spa: Concrete Swimming Pool and Spa
  • Water Depth: 1m-1.5m
  • Dimensions: 5.4m x 2.65m
  • Internal Finish: Fully Tiled
  • Coping Material: Insitu concrete
  • Filter Type and Size: Pentair Tagulas
  • Date of Completion: Jan 2011

Equipment/Supplier Specifications

  • PCC2000 In-floor cleaning system
  • Spa Electrics flush mounted lighting
  • Smartsyd - 1215-L4 'Steel Grey' mosaic tile
  • Sunbather Solar Heating
  • Pentair Master Temp Heating
  • Intelli Touch automated controller
  • Poolwater Products auto refill and overflow
  • Pentair VS pump

Out from the Blue was established in 1995 with a vision to seamlessly integrate contemporary landscape design with high quality construction of concrete swimming pools. Based in Melbourne, Australia, OFTB has grown to comprise a team of landscape architects, horticulturists and in-house pool builders who work closely on each project to create highly individual, imaginative and exciting landscape outcomes.

For more information visit

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