Across the world we are seeing some outstanding and sometimes outlandish projects popping up. Take, for instance, Sky Habit apartment complex in Singapore with a pool suspended between two buildings 100m from the ground.
Here in London a developer is seeking planning permission to build a huge transparent pool between two blocks at Embassy Gardens. While the average pool owner in the UK might not want something quite so extravagant, unique designs and luxury finishes are gaining momentum. Going above and beyond conventional design boundaries is the driving force behind today’s cutting edge swimming pool designs.
“A luxury pool is one that exceeds the standard functional requirements of a normal pool in a bid to create a bespoke and personal addition to a building,” explains Steve Jones, Operations Manager and Architectural Technician at Grayfox Swimming Pools. “It should be uniquely designed and delivered to reflect the existing surroundings and the client’s individual taste in equal measure, along with the vision of the project designer.”
The Lincolnshire-based pool company designs and builds an average of up to ten high-end pools each year – a number which is steadily increasing Says Steve: “There has definitely been a rise in the market in the last two to three years, and I suspect this is due to low interest rates on savings etc. I do know that there are now less issues from a planning permission point of view when adding pool halls to existing dwellings, as they are simply not frowned upon as much as other extensions to properties.”
He adds: “We are also finding that given the recent advances in technology resulting in lower running costs, people who in the past would not have considered having a pool are able to justify the initial expenditure a little more, given the reduced long term financial burden of running a pool.” STAMP OF APPROVAL According to Jamie Smith, Director at London Swimming Pool Company (LSPC), a 21st Century luxury pool is about three things; great design, individuality and a high specification plant room that ensures the pool operates efficiently, has minimum impact on the environment, and keeps running costs low. “Modern, energy efficient plant equipment is in, including variable speed pumps and high grade filtration such as Activated Filter Media,” says Jamie. “We are seeing an increase in demand for pools with moving floors as clients want to maximise space and safety.
We are also building much larger pools, some located at a great height in luxury tower blocks, incorporating the most expensive materials such as gold, crystal and marble to personalise designs.” For LSPC, the main stay of clients are very high net worth individuals, especially overseas clients, many of whom own multiple properties in London. However, the introduction of the company’s stainless steel pool range has extended the market to enable a wider audience to own a luxury pool. At any one time LSPC can have over 40 projects in progress, including repeat business from clients with property portfolios. The company’s main focus is in London and the Home Counties, and their contracts are evenly split across these areas.
Says Jamie: “Our price range is wide. Our luxury tiled pools start from in excess of £100,000 and go well beyond that because our clients include very high net worth individuals who lavish their entire homes with the finest interiors.” A sleek subterranean pool with a moving floor was one of many custom-designed features built by LSPC at a multi-million pound luxury London property modelled on the famous Maison de Verre in Paris.
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