Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Indoor Pool in Buckinghamshire, UK by Paul+O Architects
May 28th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Paul+O Architects
Paul+O Architects have completed a dramatic contemporary brick pool house in the grounds of a Victorian country house in Buckinghamshire. The new 525 sq m building comprises a gym, playroom and a 15-metre swimming pool and features a link corridor to the main house.
The new addition to the estate is unequivocally contemporary in its design but its form and materiality take inspiration from the existing architecture.
Built of Belgian red brick with a steep pitched roof of handmade clay tiles, the new pool house presents itself as a contemporary annex which is sympathetic to the late Victorian red brick house and yet very much of its own time. The brick is slimmer than its traditional English red brick and a concealed gutter between the brick walls and clay tile roof gives the illusion of a continuous skin, contributing to the building’s bold volumetric form.
Partners Paulo Marto and Paul Acland, who have completed a number of highly acclaimed residential projects, refer to the scheme as “playful and picturesque”. At the corners of the building the robust brick walls give way to 3.8m tall Vitrocsa glass windows that slide back into the cavity wall, dissolving the boundary of inside and out and opening up the pool to the garden.
Strategically placed, the glazed openings relate to the house and the green houses of the adjacent walled garden and are placed to maximize winter sun and heat retention and prevent the pool from overheating in the summer. A long slim window at deck level frames a view of the walled garden from the pool so that swimmers can also enjoy the landscape.
The roof has a 30 degree pitch on two sides – which echoes with the steep roof of the main house – and a 17 degree on the other two, giving rise to an asymmetrical roofline which adds to the building’s playfulness.
Internally the off-white Sto rendered walls and the Sto acoustic ceiling form one continuous skin, culminating in a full-length skylight over the pool (with opening section), which is set off-centre to flood the darkest part of the pool with natural light. Ventilation and services are carefully concealed and supplied via unobtrusive wall grilles and slots in the basalt stone floor. The pool hall is heated by a heat recovery air handling system and the building achieves a good thermal performance through the specification of 300mm reinforced concrete structural walls with insulated cavity.
The swimming pool is connected to the house by a glazed corridor, from which one can also access the carport, a store and the changing facilities. The roof of the link corridor features a full-length skylight, which softly washes the brick back wall with natural light. At night a continuous ribbon of concealed fluorescents washes the same wall with artificial light. The link corridor provides access to the house and also functions as a sheltered dining/seating area with glazed doors, which open out on to the garden. Planters filled with Trachelospermum Jasminoides will eventually cover the entire back wall with green foliage and fragrant flowers, further enhancing the relationship between the pool house and its surrounding garden.
Paul+O Architects is an award-winning London-based architectural practice renowned for contemporary architecture of high quality craftsmanship and rigour, which is sympathetic to its context. The practice was founded in 2002 by Paulo Marto and Paul Acland, who both hail from the Antipodes (Southern Africa and New Zealand respectively).
Designing in a contemporary idiom using traditional materials, projects are distinguished by a rigorous approach and attention to detail, which produces an architecture of uncompromised quality. The practice offers a holistic architectural service with expertise extending to include landscape design, interiors and the design of bespoke furniture and fittings to ensure the delivery of buildings and places with design integrity, both inside and out.
Recent projects include The Wilderness, a universally-acclaimed modern country house, set in 50 acres of woodland in Suffolk; House on Bassett Road, the radical remodeling of a Georgian townhouse; and Indoor Pool, a dramatic contemporary brick pool house in the grounds of a Victorian country house in Buckinghamshire. The success of these projects led to the practice being shortlisted for the Building Design Architect of the Year Awards in 2009 in the category of single dwelling. Current projects include a new-build house in Hampstead and a new-build house in Kensington.
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Category: Swimming Pool