A family friendly oasis with infinity pool was the goal, but how to reconcile the desire for a modern pool house when the home was built in the 1880s?

Designed by Erin Green, Nature's Best Landscapes

From the landscape designer:

The brief was to create a family friendly urban oasis, that incorporated an entertaining space to cater for groups of people. 

It was equally important that the look and scale of both the pool and pool house spaces were in proportion with the sizeable home. 

The owner also requested a more minimalist design, to avoid competing with the Victorian heritage home.

We explored several options for the pool, following council approval, and after having assessed the levels on the site it was clear we could achieve an elevated wet edge pool as the main feature. 

This allowed us to utilise the pool's wet edge as the safety barrier – hence eliminating a pool fence between house and pool, further simplifying the design.

The design is well structured, with the garden beds, pool and pool house revolving around a large central lawn. 

The standout features are the sleek, minimalist pool house and the wet edge pool, with the pool house complementing, not competing with the pool.

The homeowners are admirers of Marc Merckx, a Belgian designer known for his modern, pared down approach. 

Taking our cue from this, we gave the pool house a clean-lined black facade that contrasts the striking blue of the pool’s tiled interior surface and the vibrant green of the planting palette. 

The result is a highly contemporary pool house design that sits in perfect contrast and harmony with the heritage-listed 1880s house.

The exterior of the pool house is wrapped in Colourbond Night-Sky steel cladding, the dark tones working in complete harmony with the polished concrete flooring and the on-trend grey granite pool surrounds, steps, and garden paving. 

To make entertaining easy, the interior is equipped with an audio system and TV that can be watched from the pool and spa. 

Construction of the paving slab was built off an engineered construction lip off the back of pool beam and also a bond deck lid over core filled blockwork for the pool house slab.

A task thrown in by the owner involved utilising some sentimental existing original bluestone pitchers somewhere in the design. 

At first, I was perplexed as to how I could make this work without detracting from the contemporary design. 

However, it turned out to be a beautiful yet functional element of this yard’s story.  

I tackled this by creating an organic set of steps leading to an elevated sitting area that is nestled under the shade of the existing stately peppercorn tree – a special place where you can enjoy a magnificent vantage point of the garden in its entirety. 

The planting was just as well considered. 

A Ficus hillii ‘Flash’ hedge frames the pool and acts as a backdrop along the rear fence while a  hedge of viburnum embraces the lawn, continuing the structured look and adding to the layered feel. 

As you move away from the central lawn, the planting is more relaxed. 

Plants include Euphorbia, Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’, which spill over and soften the walls, prostrate rosemary and Stachys byzantina, (lamb’s ears), for colour and texture. 

These plants were also chosen to cope with the large peppercorn tree that competes for sun and water.

The entire project progressed without a hitch, despite the property’s location on a main road. 

Given the traffic and trams, entering and exiting the property was challenging, especially as over 600 cubic metres of earth had to be removed, but with careful planning and traffic management, construction took place in a seamless and efficient manner.

Credit list

Pool, pool house and landscape design
Victorian Landscape Awards – Winner

Designed by: Erin Green, Nature's Best Landscapes

Story by: Trendsideas

13 Mar, 2022

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