A stunning example of how simple modernist design and contemprory landscaping can reinvigorate a stately home.

Having completed a renovation of their Edwardian house in 1998, the owners contacted Russell Barrett Architects after purchasing a north-adjoining property. The idea was to construct a swimming pool, pool house and a new garden in order to integrate both sites.

The owners wanted a summer house for their three teenage boys and their friends, and a winter haven for the keen football supporters to come together to watch matches on TV in the cooler months.

The intricate design process required the homeowners, architect and landscaper to work together to produce a solution that would be a contemporary addition, while also incorporating the traditional Edwardian house. Integrating the Edwardian-style house with the garden, and creating a contemporary pool area and pool house that all worked together was a tricky endeavour at best. But, Russell Barrett Architects, Jack Merlo Design (landscape design) and Clancy Constructions were up for the challenge.

All contributing features had to be carefully designed so each element sat comfortably with the others. The pool house needed to work with the accompanying pool, and the pool with the landscaped surrounds, so communication between professionals was integral to create a sense of harmony between the environs.

The pool house is clad in timber battens with a flat roof, polished timber floor and large sliding doors, which can be open in summer or closed in winter. The fully equipped pool house contains a living area, bar and bathroom facilities. Blue-stone was selected for the benchtops in the kitchen/ bar area, with Harper & Sandilands Royal Oak engineered floorboards in Grey Mink selected for the flooring.

When the weather is temperate, the pool house doors open to the pool, providing the perfect location for poolside relaxing or entertaining. The glass pool fencing provides unobstructed views of the pool and spa, which is a stunning sight when the sun goes down and the lighting features operate to full effect.

Across from the pool and pool house is an elegant and simple dining area situated under a modern pergola adorned with climbing plants. Bluestone pavers were used for the flooring, and decking for the pool lounging space. A burst of green lawn, pergola climbers and the line of trees planted in planter boxes along the surrounding pool wall provide the perfect softening touches to the contemporary elements.

Overall, the simple forms are purely modern in the correct sense of the word and create the perfect contrast to the decorated Edwardian neighbour — providing the owners with the best of both worlds.

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