Residential Pools and Spas

Natural family pool wins 2019 Houses award

January 29, 2020

The Houses architectural awards saw the 2019 Garden/Landscape Award going to Kieron Gait Architects with Dan Young Landscape Architecture for a pool and landscape in urban Brisbane.

The most beguiling aspect of this project is the way the designers and landscapers created a natural oasis in densely packed West End.

“The pool was designed for the kids, family and friends to enjoy,” says Kieron Gait. “They didn’t want any grass in the project, and we looked to link the landscape to the broader native landscapes of the hills and gullies of south east Queensland.”

The carefully located landscape and pool disguises the fact that the neighbourhood is very urban. All photography by Christopher Frederick Jones
The carefully located landscape and pool disguises the fact that the neighbourhood is very urban. All photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

The pool is constructed from formed concrete bordered with a concrete coping with a light acid etch. Primary sanitisation is saltwater chlorination with an Enviroswim freshwater system.

High walls of face blockwork provide privacy from the close neighbours, and help give the illusion of being alone in a bush setting – with the materials providing a setting that is raw and subservient to the garden.

The garden highlights the surrounding landscape and underlying rock strata to provide a connection to place, and by utilising the slope of the site and stepping down the walls, the garden connects to the gum-tree-green palette of Mt Cootha beyond.

By placing the fencing at the entrance to the garden, the pool is viewed as a natural occurrence within the garden, is dark coloured water reminiscent of that found in a natural gully.

Jury citation

“Part building and part archaeological dig, this project is both unexpected and deeply innovative in its approach. There is a lot of construction here: a carport and store, a terrace and pool. The skill of the designers is particularly evident in the fact that the site appears to have been deconstructed to reveal a pre-suburban landscape.

The landscape referenced the broader native landscapes of the hills and gullies of south east Queensland

“The garden is wild and river rocks replace the typical timber deck, turf lawn or hard paving. The street benefits from this cleverly crafted insertion of the ruin/carport hybrid. The rear private swimming pool holds the sloping site and deals with Australian pool fence regulations in a firm and creative way.

“The decorative concrete block pool wall evokes memories of Walter Burley Griffin and the natural world and also reads as an effective datum to contemplate the long views to the surrounding hills. This is a poetic solution to the Aussie suburban ‘must haves’.”

The contractor was JBS Build and the project team consisted of Kieron Gait and Anna O’Gorman.

Houses Award Winners

Australian House Of The Year – Daylesford Longhouse by Partners Hill (Daylesford, Vic)
New House Under 200 Square Metres – Bay Guarella House by Peter Stutchbury (Guerrilla Bay, NSW)
New House Over 200 Square Metres – Daylesford Longhouse by Partners Hill (Daylesford, Vic)
House Alteration and Addition Under 200 Square Metres – House in Darlinghurst by Tribe Studio (Sydney, NSW)
House Alteration and Addition Over 200 Square Metres (Joint Winner) – Brisbane Riverbank House by Owen Architecture (Brisbane, Qld)
House Alteration and Addition Over 200 Square Metres (Joint Winner) – Teneriffe House by Vokes and Peters (Brisbane, Qld)
Apartment or Unit – The Bae TAS by Work by Liz and Alex (Hobart, Tas)
Garden or Landscape – Whynot St Pool and Carport by Kieron Gait Architects with Dan Young Landscape Architecture (Brisbane, Qld)
Sustainability – The Garden Bunkie by Reddog (Brisbane, Qld)
House in a Heritage Context (Joint Winner) – Balmain Rock by Benn + Penna Architecture (Sydney, NSW)
House in a Heritage Context (Joint Winner) – House in Darlinghurst by Tribe Studio (Sydney, NSW)
Emerging Architecture Practice – Edition Office (Melbourne, Vic)

 



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