There are generally three types of pool customers; those that want a pool to swim in for exercise, those that want it for socialising and those who are just looking to show off.
Then there’s the fourth group – the luxury pool customers who want all of the above. In recent years, there has been a major shift towards superrich overseas property owners wanting luxury pools and wellness areas in their London residences.
While high net worth individuals come in all guises, most customers want the pools for their personal and family use, but there are those who see a luxury pool as an enrichment of their property portfolio.
“Of course the quality of the finishes, such as the mosaics, stainless steel and spectacular water features, all play a part in the luxury design, but it’s the overall feel of the pool area that singles out an ordinary pool from a luxurious one”, says Jamie Smith, managing director of London Swimming Pool Company (LSPC).
The company has had the privilege of designing and building some remarkable pools with special finishes, from solid gold tiles to crystal encrusted water features. One of LSPC’s recent luxury pool projects at a South Kensington property featured a moving floor and was recognised for its outstanding design in the Residential Indoor Pool of the Year category at the UK Pool and Spa Awards.
“It’s easy to think that a luxury pool is purely about the pool, but in truth it’s about the ambience of the entire space where the pool is built – and that requires a high level of creativity and attention to detail in the overall design,” says Jamie.
“It is important to realise that beauty goes beyond the surface,” he comments. “The luxury is built into all the aspects of the pool, especially the inner workings which clients don’t see, but from which they derive benefits. The internal workings ensure that the pool operates efficiently, reliably and safely.”
LSPC’s award-winning design, which adhered to the client’s brief to provide flexibility in a limited space, features two roman ends and a pair of recessed Hugo Lahme massage stations. The moving floor can be lowered to the desired water level and when fully elevated provides robust floor, allowing the client to use the area for entertaining guests.The steps are cast into the pool wall to ensure that the moving floor glides smoothly over them and intricate work was required on the installation of the porcelain tiles to achieve a 2mm tolerance between the pool walls and the moving floor.
In the last year, LSPC has seen a 50 per cent increase in enquiries for moving floor pools – a trend which seems to have caught on now that people have really grasped the concept and benefits of a multi-use pool area.
Jamie comments: “The pool tastes of our high-end clients vary enormously, but generally they hire prominent interior designers and we work alongside them.
“Price brackets can also vary enormously, but today it is not uncommon for us to design and build pools valued at £1milion for overseas billionaire clients. These are the pools that can never be publicised but we have quite a few of these gracing central London homes.”
Current trends in luxury pool design favour the sleek and modern look, achieved by large porcelain slabs in stone, grey or black and stainless steel pool finishing, with some architects specifying this for some contracts.
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