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Fibreoptic lighting and a waterfall feature propel this pool into a league of its own


The wow factor with pool design is often derived from the aesthetic beauty of the finished article, rather than the hidden feats of engineering that made its construction possible.

The integration of infinity edges, fibre optics and a waterfall into this pool ensures it packs praiseworthy visual clout. However, the degree of preparation that was required to ensure that an outstanding site – with a great sea and island vista – was stable enough to safely support a pool of this size is also deserving of plaudits.

Designed by landscape architect Natural Habitats and implemented by Frontier Pools and Paysage Landscapes, this 20m by 4.5m pool is sunk into a bank, which drops off into a cliff face. While this elevated position provided the perfect opportunity for an infinity edge that would lead the eye towards the watery view beyond, it also placed the pool in a slip zone; an area where the soil may be prone to subsistence due to coastal erosion. A robust engineering solution was needed to stabilise the ground sufficiently to support the pool and prevent the possibility that it might slowly slide into the sea.

Frontier Pools sunk 10 four-metre-long piles into the ground and laid a substantial blanket of hardfill underneath the pool in order to achieve this. In addition to this engineering work, the area around the outdoor fireplace rests on top of a concrete slab suspended by moresupport piles.

The crux of the pool's design stemmed from the owners' desire to have a pool that they could swim laps in, and that also provided a water feature. The waterfall fulfils the aesthetic requirement. Operable by remote control and with various settings, between 700 and 800 litres of water per minute fall just over three feet from a shallow feeder pool into the main pool below.


A series of glass balustrades stretch across the pathways, down to and right across the pool. This safely sections off the deeper area of the pool without obstructing the view from the patio.

The stepping stones separate the usable area of the pool from the waterfall as well as providing a means to cross from one side to the other.

A submerged ledge provides a step down into the pool from the plinths, while there is a ledge at the far end of the pool where swimmers can take a breather and admire the view.

Fibre optics are positioned just above the water line around each of the stone plinths, the perimeter of the pool, underneath the lip of the feeder pool and where the cascade meets the pool, creating a dramatic nocturnal effect.

The feeder pool is tiled with 100mm2 tiles, which gives the area the look of an ornamental water feature.

The main pool is plastered with Diamond Brite Pool Plaster, an exposed aggregate pool plaster that is acid etched to bring out the quartz sparkle.

The pH and chlorine levels of the pool are checked regularly by a Rola Chem system, which releases the required chemicals in the right amounts to maintain safe levels.

First published date: 17 August 2006

Credit List

Pool designer Frontier Pools (Auckland)
Landscaper Paysage Landscapes
Landscape architect Natural Habitats
Structural engineer Thorburn Consultants
Geotechnical engineer Foundation Engineering
Paving and pool surround supplier Stone Supplies
Chlorination Rola Chem and WaterCo Salt Chlorinator
Pool filtration WaterCo
Pool cleaner Baracuda Genie II
Gates and fencing Warner Fencing
Lighting Supervision Fibreoptics
Fireplace JC & ME Heineke