Structural Engineer: Buxton Associates
Pool Consultant: Pool Architecture
M+E Consultant: Blair Rains
Text description provided by the architects. The mature and secluded site is located in Haslemere on the edge of the Surrey Hills, enjoying stunning, long ranging views towards the South Downs and beyond.
The client's brief was for a detached ancillary building to the existing house, to provide an indoor pool and spa, gym, bicycle workshop and glasshouse. Above all the building had to be beautiful, finely crafted at every detail using the highest quality materials. The Pool House needed to function effortlessly in a variety of environments, whether for a relaxing solitary swim or a family pool party for 30.
It was important for the building to integrate seamlessly within the sensitive site, to complement its surroundings and in particular build a positive relationship with the main house in terms of scale, form and appearance. The Pool House takes a low slung form to satisfy planning constraints, and is set on a simple alignment to the main house, creating a dialogue, and generating a more complete arrival space.
The existing corner of the site was underused despite occupying a prominent position on the entrance to the house. A simple wrapping stone wall was used to re-orientate this part of the garden and set up a dialogue with the existing house. The stone wall terminates with a new greenhouse, with a picture window creating a viewing shelf in the greenhouse, a request from the client to be able to see in from the kitchen window of the main house.
The design has been conceived as a simple copper pitched roof form with adjoining servant spaces in a low sedum-roofed element, all contained by a continuous wrapping drystone wall. The contemporary design uses rich natural materials which create a warm and submissive palette (copper, limestone, oak) harmonising with the local vernacular. Generous sliding glass panels provide a connection to the gardens and glimpses of countryside beyond; expansive roof glazing floods the pool with daylight and views of the sky.
Re-Format's approach to the project was to adhere to a process of clarity – a balance of creativity and rational thinking. Creative design that required rigorous analysis and attention to detail that grew out of the constraints of the site and specifics of the brief.