The new pool house nestles down into a saddle of land to the south of the old farmhouse, and replaces a group of single- storey agricultural buildings.
The building has a splayed footprint that responds to the boundaries of the garden with the garage on one side and a glazed study on the other, with a large open planned multi-use space in between.
The three rooms are separated by two fin, walls with long span glulam beams spanning across the larger central space. A complete wall of glass sliding doors allow; this space to be opened up onto the pool terrace with a view over the swimming pool and down through the garden, the farmhouse visible to one side.
The fin walls are constructed from a local limestone, also evident at the base of the old farmhouse; cedar cladding is used for the garage elements and the shower room enclosure; cedar is also used for the windows to the study; dark grey framed aluminum windows are used elsewhere; and the building has a glass roof with a slatted timber canopy to the front protecting to the pool terrace.
Internally 1m x 1m polished concrete slabs are used for the floors. The roof structure of long span glulam beams and shorter span timber joists is left exposed and untreated. At the rear of the large space is a wall of cupboards with large sliding doors that mimic the main glass doors out to the pool. Above these cupboards is a long slot window that draws light in from the south and allows views up into the field above the building.
The study area is designed as a lightweight ‘lean too’ structure supported to one side by the fin wall and to the other on a slender cedar posts. Double glazed window panes are fitted between the posts and the openings step up in relationship to the ground levels around the building. The room has a 270 degree panorama to the surroundings landscape.
New planting between the pool and the driveway shelters the pool area and mediates between the old and new structures. The roof has been designed to accept planting, and the proposal is to cut ‘sods’ from the adjoining field and thereby extend the planting within these fields across the roof of the new structure, blurring the distinction between the built form and the surrounding landscape.
The property previously relied on an oil fired water for all its heating. Consideration was given to a number of alternative heating systems, including bio- mass, ground source and micro chp. An air source heat pump was chosen and this unit provides heat for the swimming pool and the pool house.
The pool extends out from the building drawing your view down through the garden. A cedar deck surrounds the pool and a low dry stone wall faces the end of the pool where the ground level is lower. A sinuous path links the pool area back to the terrace of the old farmhouse and this has been relaid to match the new building.