Taking the plunge in Shenton Park

Monday, 11 November, 2013

Ep low res

An early 1900s house on a small lot in Shenton Park, WA, was being restored and renovated, with a courtyard pool featuring as an integral part of the design. The clients were keen for the pool to be a focal point from the living areas of the house and to be a water feature as well as a swimming pool.

Designed by Debra Brown of Hofman and Brown Architects, Wenham Constructions was the builder employed to coordinate construction of the property and Exclusive Pools constructed the pool.

The client’s family included two teenage children. While the pool was designed to accommodate the children and their friends, it was critical to the overall design that it integrate with the living areas of the house. With only a small space in which to work, it was an important element of the planning strategy to design the lot from boundary to boundary, with the outdoor space a continuation of the indoor living spaces. The glass-sided swimming pool, underneath the cantilevering upper floor, not only provides a focal point for the living area, it feels like it is ‘within’ the house.

A Hurlcon Cartridge Filter was selected for the pool’s filtration system and a Hurlcon 1.5 hp pump was used. A Chemigem automatic sanitiser was also fitted. The pool is lit with LED lighting; the LED lights were positioned on the house side of the pool so those inside the house are able to see the effects of the lights rather than the source.

The pool is relatively small and covered by a cantilevering overhang for about 70% of its area, which helps to reduce evaporation. The pool is solar heated and is fitted with an Elite Thermal Shield thermal blanket. This blanket features a 45% higher ‘R’ value compared to other blankets which, according to Elite Pool Covers, means the swimming pool will heat up quicker, stay warmer longer and be less expensive to operate.

Classic white tiles measuring 100 x 300 mm have been laid on the internal and external walls to give the swimming pool a solid feel. The interior of the pool has been finished with Rainbow Quartz in Pool Blue colour. These complement the overall simple and contemporary design of the swimming pool.

The pool was designed to be 560 mm above ground with a 560 x 4500 mm glass window set in a stainless steel channel. To reduce the amount of water loss from splashing, the glass window in the pool was raised.

The pool has been designed to complement the contemporary design of the addition to the home. The glass side of the pool and the glass wall to the dining area enhance the impression that the water is almost a part of the room itself. As the windows from the living area do not open, the pool area is not encumbered by fencing, offering an uninterrupted view.

The curvilinear pattern of the Hoojba concrete tiles to the pool wall provide a subtle contrast to the very rectilinear shapes of the pool itself. Integrating the pool as a feature of the house allows the owners to enjoy it not just to swim in during the warmer months, but to gaze at all year round.

The architect, Debra Brown, believes the success of the project was due to the pool area being designed as an integral ‘room’ in the house. “The small timber deck and step area at the east end is a continuation of the timber floor and steps internally. The polished concrete floor in the dining area extends through the glass wall to the pool surround. The small section of glass pool fence at the west end is minimal and unobtrusive. In short, the house and the pool were designed as one. The pool design didn’t come after the house, it came with the house, and that is its success.”

Exclusive Pools aspires to build pools to a very high standard, preferring only to build around 30 pools each year. This enables a degree of flexibility and ensures quality control.

This pool won Gold at the 2013 SPASA WA Awards in the Plunge/Courtyard Pools category.

Photographs by Andrew Pritchard Photography.

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