Pools of any shape and size are a tremendous addition to any outdoor space.
Pools enliven areas when they are being used and add a sense of serenity when they are not in use. No only do they create a focus on an aesthetic level, but perhaps more importantly pools often encourage us to focus on family and friends gathering together and a fabulous way to encourage activity for the entire family. We asked Ian Barker, principal designer of Ian Barker & Associates and director of Enkipools, to suggest some points to consider when choosing and designing your pool.
Designing your Pool
“The first and most fundamental ‘rule’ so to speak is to ensure the pool is designed as part of the garden, not simply a pool in a garden.” With this in mind Ian suggests consulting a professional landscape designer. “Clearly pools are a considerable investment, it may seem obvious but their placement in a garden is often neglected, it is critical to get it right”
Deciding where to place your pool
“Generally pools should be positioned parallel to the back of the house. Placement in full sun is not always possible or advisable. We aim to place 70% of the pool in full sun; a small portion of the pool in a shaded area provides wonderful respite from hot afternoon sun”
Pools are also the ultimate garden water feature. “Where ever possible we position the pool so it’s most spectacular aspect can be seen from inside the house. Even when not using the pool, the beauty and serenity of the water can be enjoyed.”
How big and what shape should your pool be?
All decisions relating to pool installations are important, after all the pool is to be a part of your landscape for a long, long time.
“Naturally the pools dimensions will largely depend on the area of your garden, however, also consider the number of people consistently using the pool. Are you a person/family who intends to swim laps or maybe just take a dip to cool off and have a bit of fun. We find the most popular pool size is approximately 8 x 4 meters or slight variations to this. This size seems to satisfy most requirements.” Rectangular, straight edged pools usually compliment formal and contemporary house and garden settings where as curved lines compliment a more whimsical, meandering style garden.
What about colour?
Ian believes the colour of your pool will be one of the most critical choices you will be required to make. He suggests doing plenty of research, reviewing lots of pool and garden magazines and visit as many pools as you can. “Navy blue and dark green pool interiors give a ‘classic’ look. Black, white and baby blue are presently fashionable choices. White interiors result in a soft aqua, a beautiful subtle look for contemporary settings. Black interiors are spectacular but can be rather ‘confronting’ for some children so perhaps not a wise choice for those who anticipate young ones using the pool.”
Pool fencing is another major consideration. Regulations determine much of the pool fences location and dimensions but the fences construction is more open to personal taste. Ian suggests using glass in areas of high visibility but not necessarily for the entire fence. “A mix of glass and powder coated fencing can provide an economical option to pool fencing”.
As one can see there are many decisions to be made when building a pool, but it need not be a stressful process. “Planning is the key. Step one should always be consultation with a landscape design professional. Once the pool placement is decided clients often find the rest of the decisions follow as a matter of course.”
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