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New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1998

splashing out — Summer beckons with pools that will transport — you to far-off Aegean shores or — paradise in the Pacific

page 156

splashing out
Summer beckons with pools that will transport
you to far-off Aegean shores or
paradise in the Pacific.

night reflections

Wedged in a narrow strip of land between the house and rear boundary, Graham Cleary and Kim Johnstone's pool provides a striking backdrop to the living area of their expansive Auckland home. With the help of architect Richard Priest and landscape designer Trudi Crerar, of Natural Habitats, a sloping back yard was transformed to form the pool and courtyards on either side of the dining area that reaches out to the pool's edge. The north-west axis of the pool ensures it gets plenty of sun during the day, while at night the emerald water echoes the strong blue and turquoise colours of the adjoining living areas. The vibrant palette of colours used inside is also reflected in the ceramic tiles that edge the waterline. It was important to Graham and Kim that the pool melded well with the house, which Graham describes as "very much a New Zealand style of house - it reflects our place in the Pacific". Not only have Richard Priest and Trudy Crerar created "a beautiful pool to play and frolic in as a family", at 25 metres long it provides a good work-out for the serious swimmer. Just 2.7 metres wide at either end, the pool flares in the middle to 4.5 metres. At the widest point a broad step forms a safe area for younger swimmers. A mix of tropical plants and succulents form the backdrop to the pool, a standard concrete shell which sits on about 30 concrete piles.

Pool built by Morgan Pools (09-525 1242) and Natural Habitats (09-529 0190). Landscaping by Graham Cleary of Natural Habitats (as above). Tuscan sandstone tiles from The Slate and Stone Centre (09-579 3326). Ceramic tiles from Morris and James (09-422 7116). Richard Priest Architects (09-309 3096).

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page 158

far pavilion

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A seventies' swimming pool on a suburban section has been cleverly refurbished by landscape designer Cilla Cooper to create a more glamorous outdoor living area in keeping with the thirties' bungalow it adjoins. Previously, the area's only redeeming feature was a stucco wall screening the pool from the driveway. Cooper used this as a starting point for her design. The shell of the concrete pool was retained and resurfaced, and the existing stucco wall around the perimeter of the pool extended. At the pool's southern end a semi-circular pavilion, based on a Romanesque design, creates a delightful space to escape the sun or entertain. The pavilion's curved arches echo the original entry to the pool area, while the use of wrought iron in the existing entrance gate is repeated in window screens and at openings in the perimeter wall. Terracotta coloured concrete tiles with a tessellated tile detail surround the pool; a reference to the tiles used in a porch and on steps linking the house and pool. The same tile detail is used around the waterline. Planting has a strong Mediterranean theme. However, a magnificent display of apricot and yellow roses is planted close to the house in recognition of the owners' love of roses.

Pool resurfacing by John Sheen (09-834 4045,025-481 343) and Kurt Pragert (09-8 13 0092, 025-963 673). Concrete tiles by Modtezz Tile and Paving Company (09-838 5140). Tessellated English tiles from The Restoration Centre (09-630 6523). Wrought iron work by Reinink's Wrought Iron (09-274 9372). Cilla Cooper (09-445 8312).

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page 160

urban oasis

Although only five minutes from central Auckland, this pool is nestled in a gully filled with 100-year-old redwoods, where often the only sound is from the locusts and birds. So as not to disturb the harmony of the woodland setting, or the roots of the redwoods, excavations for the pool had to be minimal. With the help of landscape designer Susan Warrington and pool builder Nigel Donaldson the owners opted for a relatively small, curved concrete pool with a uniform depth of 1.6m. The pool design was kept simple in order to link it visually with a creek that winds through the mature trees below. Large boulders line the edge of the pool closest to the creek, and small ferns and the native groundcover Pratia angulata enhance the natural setting. The emphasis on simple, natural materials is continued around the side of the pool nearest to the house, which is finished with a grey coping tile. The pool bottom is exposed aggregate with a white marble chip adding an extra sparkle to the water, even on overcast days. Mainly native plants were chosen for the sloping ground between the pool and the creek, but planting nearer the house includes a number of sub-tropical species such as palms, black taro and philodendron.

Landscaping by Susan Warrington Landscape Design (09-278 0895). Pool built by Nigel Donaldson (294 8826) using Kaiawa pebbles and black marble plaster from Eden Stone (09-525 0709). Grey coping tiles from W Stevenson & Sons (09-294 8841).

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contemporary haven

Landscape designer Ted Smythe and architect Ron Sang have worked together on many different projects over the years, so it was a foregone conclusion that the two would collaborate on the design of a pool for Sang's new Auckland home. Enclosed by two wings of the house in a sheltered north-facing courtyard, the asymmetrical pool is designed to complement the house's strong contemporary style. Built by Morgan Pools, the pool, and an adjoining spa, are surfaced with turquoise glass mosaic tiles. A series of 'flying' beams and pillars link pool and house, providing a striking vertical contrast to the expanse of sandstone tiles and turquoise water below. At night the underside of the beams is outlined in turquoise neon. The pool area was also conceived as an outdoor gallery to display pieces from Sang's extensive collection of ceramic art. Large sculptural pieces by well know artists such as Nick Brandon and Barry Brickell stand in dramatic relief to walls and pillars painted mushroom, mauve and aubergine. The colours were selected by design consultant Anne Shanks. Other artworks are set among the foliage of the avocado trees, ferns, clivia and palms planted along the outer edge of courtyard. Flowing between pool and house is a narrow water channel with a large square stepping stone across it and a row of jets to one side. In the north-east corner of the courtyard are two low timber benches and a triangular table, their elegant informality reminiscent of contemporary Japanese design. Other carefully placed icons of the Japanese garden - lanterns and miniature weeping maples - give subtle emphasis to this theme.

Swimming and spa pools by Morgan Pools (09-525 1242). Bisazza glass mosaic tiles from Tile Warehouse (0800-289 845). Helidon sandstone paving from Trethewey Granite and Marble Ltd (09-827 3017). Neon Lighting by Vision Signs Ltd (09-263 5010). Ron Sang (09-638 8026).

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page 164

summer living

A totally unusable space filled with weeds at the bottom of a steep section has been cleverly utilised by architect Jane Aimer to create a pool for her family home. Jane and her husband, Paul Kelly, decided to "extend the mortgage" and build the pool while their three children were young. It turned out to be a very timely decision as the pool quickly became the focus of activity for the children, their cousins and friends during one of Auckland's hottest summers. Basically a rectangle, the concrete and fibreglass pool by Mayfair Pools fits neatly alongside the lower level of the three storey house. As the pool is built a metre above the ground, a fence only 400mm high was required on its northern perimeter. Aimer decided to raise the outside wall of the pool to this height, which satisfies the need for safety and provides privacy from neighbours and protection from the wind. Mature pohutukawa and cabbage trees around the perimeter of the site offer further shelter, with glimpses through the trees to the harbour beyond. A series of waterspouts along the raised back wall are a fun element for children, while at night the moving water enhances enjoyment of the pool from the sitting room above. Mayfair pool from Aquarius Leisure Centre (09-576 3208). Glass mosaic tiles from Jacobsen Creative Surfaces (09-524 1460). Kwila deck built by Ron Bank (09-426 3825). Hinuera stone from Firth Industries (0800-800 576). Jane Aimer (09-309 7655).

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page 166

Aegean nights

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Richly textured planting and a magnificent view of the harbour enhance this elegant cliff-top pool built by Rob Thomas Landscaping. Gas heating and a charcoal coloured surface raise the water temperature to such a degree that at night, swimmers could easily imagine themselves on some Aegean shore, rather than Auckland's eastern suburbs. The architecture of the Swan Railley Clapham designed house reinforces this Mediterranean atmosphere, as do sandstone tiles, plaster clad walls, dark green wrought iron fences and a row of olive trees on the eastern side of the boundary. A subtle reference to the site's New Zealand context is made through the use of mosaic tiles reminiscent of paua shell around the waterline and as an edging on the steps of the pool. Built on a sloping, north-facing site, the concrete pool required considerable reinforcing with a series of concrete beams and piers. Terraced lawns and planter beds were built around the pool and massive amounts of top soil trucked in. Rob Thomas Landscaping selected a flourishing mix of sculptural plants for the pool area and garden, which screen neighbouring properties without obscuring views. The owner, who loves to garden, has also added a variety of interesting and textural plants, such as the native cultivar Pseudopanax 'Fiddlesticks'. Rob Thomas Landscaping (09-570 4430). Mosaic tiles from Jacobsen Creative Surfaces (09-524 1460). Sandstone tiles from The Slate and Stone Centre (09-579 3326). Gas heating from Sunbather Systems Ltd (09-415 4588). Wrought iron fence made by Reinink's Wrought Iron (09-274 9372).

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