Pool Architecture Gloucestershire


This was a project that involved putting a stainless steel pool inside an old, and listed, stone Cotswold barn.

Clive and Sarah were the clients – Clive, a merchant banker, was extremely busy and had no time at all to oversee the project himself. He was a man who travelled a lot but who loved exercising so, wherever he went, he always swam in the hotel’s pool. Says Mark Saxton: “I think he had seen a lot of nice pools in his life”.

The barn was a listed building, so we had to overcome the usual challenge of applying for and obtaining the various permissions. The other special challenge in this case was that the client wanted the maximum possible swimming length for his pool, taking it right up against the wall of the building. To achieve this we had use a piled foundation underneath the barn wall; this involved boring holes in the ground beneath the wall, coring out sleeves of clay a foot wide and dropping in concrete pins.

Clive also told us that he wanted a more radical look to his pool. So, having examined all the options, we settled on a deck-level pool (which means that the water overflows into a surrounding gully) with a stainless steel lining. We contacted a Swedish company which manufactures this kind of pool, and found a UK importer. Then we had to design and detail this huge stainless steel product to be shipped over from Sweden, in panels. The panels were welded together and knitted into the structure of Clive’s old Cotswold-stone barn.

Because Clive had no time to become involved in any way himself, we had to guide him every step of the way. In terms of the other finishes in the building, for example, we made detailed recommendations on the colour and texture of the floor. Clive wanted to use the hayloft of the barn as a gym; we considered the options and proposed a curved glass and steel staircase going up to a mezzanine floor. The Conservation Officer didn’t want us to increase the size of the barn, but we obtained permission for everything we needed. There were at least fifty detailed technical drawings for the whole scheme. It was a phenomenally complex project, but the result is a superb blend of old and new.

“Overall PA provided us with total peace of mind throughout a very complex project. Firstly the flexibility of design adapted to the client’s aesthetic tastes and intended use of the facility. Secondly the technical knowledge acquired through so much focussed experience in this field. Finally, an almost military approach to managing the project and those involved in it. We were extremely happy with both the process and the final product, which has functioned perfectly and beautifully since the very first day of commissioning.”