Sleek, modern, with an emphasis on light, this luxury basement swimming pool in the heart of Chelsea met all the requirements of one young family, says Jamie Smith
What was the project?
A 9.6m x 3.8m minimalist subterranean pool in Chelsea, with a constant depth of 1.35m. The client wanted a pool to suit all the family – not too deep for the children whilst also being sleek and modern in design. We worked alongside the London architects LAB, who commissioned us for the project. It was one of the first pools we built using large format, off-white Italian porcelain tiles on both the floors and walls to create that clean, crisp look that the client was after. The pool hall was designed to be light and airy; we used mirrors to ensure that the space feels anything but subterranean and natural daylight streams through atria at both ends of the pool.
What was involved?
Our design team had several creative and planning meetings with the architect to establish the overall design process and understand fully the client expectation with regards to finishes, water treatment and environmental control parameters.
Once the architect, client and we were happy that the design ticked all the client’s aspirations, we started the build phase. This embraced first stage fittings, installation of pipe work, environmental control system and associated ductwork. The next stage was installing the plantroom equipment – filters, pumps, disinfection system. The pool utilises deep-bed sand filtration to keep the water sparking clean with a silent-run pump.
Once that work was completed, we waterproofed the swimming pool structure, affixed the tiles, stainless-steel fittings and lights to the pool. Basement pools need light to lift them, so we installed quartz halogen underwater lighting throughout the pool.
Then the big moment for the client – the pool was filled with water. On completion, the pool was fully commissioned prior to the final handover. This was done jointly by our design and build and servicing teams. Working together ensures a smooth handover to the client, and also that the service engineer is fully au fait with the pool and its technical complexities for future servicing and maintenance.
Any challenges along the way?
In common with lots of London properties, where space is at a premium, there was limited space for the plantroom, for the pump and filtration equipment, but we worked round this and 12 months after work began on the property refurbishment, the family members were able to take their first dip in their pool.
What are you most pleased with?
Like the client, we were delighted with the overall look – the clean lines and an off-white colour scheme fit in perfectly with the architectural and interior design of the home.
We started out as a small company dedicated to building luxury pools in London and have grown beyond our wildest dreams. We’ve been building pools in London for nearly 30 years now and we’re still growing and winning awards. We’re proud of a raft of awards we have won recently, including two top industry awards for our unique energy efficient pool. The client is passionate about energy efficiency, so every element of the pool stretches technology to its limits. For example, solar panels are installed on the roof of the pool hall and ground-source heating provides all the heating. Incredibly, the client says the family uses less electricity now than before the pool was installed!
Jamie Smith is managing director of London Swimming Pool Company. For more information visit London Swimming Pool Company