A Modern Manly Pool Design that Enjoys a Beautiful Ocean Vista


Located in the bayside Brisbane suburb of Manly, this stunning new house is situated on a steeply sloping block and split over multiple levels, with a pool that’s more than 6m above natural ground to take advantage of sweeping ocean views.

The concrete pool, a modern geometric style with curved negative edge/overflow, was designed by Trebilcock & Associates Architects to create a flow from the entertaining area and appear as a seamless transition from pool water to ocean.

A fully tiled spa overflows into the pool, which in turn flows into a 17m-long wraparound collection pond. Coupled with a 180-degree view, the vista alone really sets this pool apart from the rest. “Design starts with the land and how to best create flow in the property,” explain Jim and Danica Vansleve of boutique pool building company Norfolk Pools. “Good design encompasses the surrounds, the aspect and choice of materials. A great design should leave no detail untouched. This pool and house use a combination of earthy materials in natural stones, dark brick and contrasting white render, timbers and the pop of colour from the Royal Blue Crystal tiles in the pool. The stone and warm cream tones create an earthy, warm and inviting home, while the stark-white render and dark brick provide contrast, giving a modern edge to this impeccable home.

“Good design also covers how the pool will be utilised by the household. Is it to splash around in, for exercise, is it the entertainer’s dream, the showpiece of the property, or is it
to be more subtle?”

The project also encompassed its fair share of complex engineering and design challenges. The pool required scaffolding and platforms throughout construction for occupational health and safety requirements and to be built in conjunction with the house build.

The pool sits on the second floor of this residence, above a storeroom, which also houses the plant room for pool equipment. Due to the pool being incorporated into the house, plumbing and waterproofing were critical elements. Plumbing was pressure tested at several stages to ensure leaks were not to be a problem. The pool shell was also waterproofed internally, with two coats of Hydropoxy and an Ardex product.

Although Norfolk Pools did not design any other aspects of this outdoor area, they can assist with design and construction of surrounding pool landscaping. 
Jim Vansleve started Norfolk Pools in 1974. Jim is still actively involved in the day-to-day construction management and sales, accompanied by his daughter, Danica. Between the two, they manage all projects, from initial enquiry through to completion, with a highly skilled team that is attentive to detail.

Norfolk Pools is a boutique builder, concentrating on quality over quantity and with a penchant for difficult sites. Build numbers are capped at starting two pools a week, building between 60 to 90 pools per year, ranging from small plunge pools and private lap pools to more creative and involved projects, such as this bayside project.

“Our specialty is quality pools, with the aim to give our clients a pleasant building experience, whether it is a simple family pool to enjoy, or the more challenging sites with complex engineering where experience counts,”
say Jim and Danica.

“We like to meet with our clients on-site to assess important issues such as access and levels of the land, the house position and find out what our clients would like to achieve. We can design anything, but we also like to be cost-efficient. Our focus is on design rather than a sale, we talk through possibilities, why one option may be better than another, and try to provide as much information as possible on how a build would take place due to property elements. We use 3D modelling, which we find takes the ‘grey areas’ out of the quoting process, such as where and why retaining walls might be needed.”

Norfolk Pools has received many awards over the past decade, from pools ranging under $50,000 to more than $100,000, and has collected technical and engineering awards, as well as recognition for lighting and water feature innovations. Recently, the company won the 2020 SPASA National Runner-Up Commercial Project of the Year award for the Halcyon Greens Retirement Resort, along with four Highly Commended national awards for Community Project, Best Safety Barrier, Residential Water Feature and Commercial Pool over $250,000. These projects won gold awards in Queensland, along with awards for Pool Sales Representative of the Year, Lighting Feature, Pool Landscape Design and In-Ground Spa, plus Concrete Pool up to $50,000 and Concrete Pool up to $100,000.

Norfolk Pools is a member of SPASA and the Master Builders Association of Queensland.

For more information

Norfolk Pools