This grand 1905 property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs required a total renovation, and the swimming pool and gardens were no exception. The owners accordingly contacted ourselves and we met on site for an initial consultation and design workshop. By the end of that meeting we had been engaged to totally design, document and project manage the elegant transformation of the external spaces of this project and, as Australia’s longest established and most specialized landscape architectural and pool design practice, we felt more than qualified to do so.

The brief provided by our Clients was to substantially increase the length of the existing dated pool to enable it to be used for exercise purposes. In addition, we were requested to incorporate a family-size Spa, install a new finish to the Pool and Spa interiors, specify equipment as required, totally upgrade the surrounding paving and landscaping, plus design new, attractive and discrete pool fencing that also satisfied council requirements. Ensuring the perfect integration of the extended, renovated Pool and new Spa into the existing property, in a manner in keeping with the era and beauty of the character Residence, was also a key requirement.

The overall design, including the dramatic uplit water features, the underwater and landscape lighting, and the selection and detailing of finishes, was left to us – and the Clients were thrilled with the end result.

The design includes a travertine wall at the end of the pool, incorporating downlit niches and water cascades to create an exciting focal point. The travertine wall itself hides some of the filtration and pump equipment, as well as screening an old shed in the adjacent property. A raised Spa, sized to accommodate the large family, and complete with a continuous weir and cascade was also included. A large shallow waterplay area for some of the younger and older pool users combines well with an elegant, radiused swimout seat that extends the full length of the Pool.

The colour of the specially selected blend of Italian glass mosaic tiles to the Pool and Spa interiors was selected to compliment the colours of the adjacent flowering Wisteria and Jacaranda, whilst a tumbled travertine was selected to provide a finish that looked instantly ‘aged’ and had a textured finish very suitable for use around a Swimming Pool.

Peter Glass and Associates are committed to environmentally sustainable design. This is reflected in the many passive as well as active elements incorporated into the design of this and other projects. This includes such simple things as the correct preparation of the lawn and garden areas prior to planting, ensuring that the soil was conditioned to enable it to retain adequate moisture yet still be free-draining. Plant suitability to the prevailing conditions was also important. This project also incorporated a 30,000 litre rainwater storage tank under the front lawn area for irrigation and pool top-up purposes, with the water being harvested from rooftop and paved areas.

Some of the plants incorporated into the Planting Plan for this project included Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’, Viburnum odoratissimum ‘Emerald Lustre’, Loropetalum chinense ‘Burgundy’ as well as a selected range of Camellia sasanquas and japonicas.