A truly spectacular swimming pool and entertaining area that blends with nature and makes the most of the native Australian landscape
Encompassing a pool and an adjacent entertaining area and overlooking the lush valley surrounds, Warrandyte is a retreat like no other. Its owner approached Minke Avant-Garde wanting a pool but was unsure how to integrate it into the challenging bush landscape. With a significant fall from the rear of the home to the ground, John Negri, co-owner of Minke Avant-Garde, immediately recognised the entertaining area that the homeowner was after would be completely disjointed from the home. Or would it?
“After working with the client to really understand how he planned to use the space, we conceptualised an elevated pool that would work as an extension of the home while making the most of the surrounding native environment,” says John. Floating on concrete blocks and requiring significant engineering, Warrandyte sits parallel to the home despite the substantial fall; the land sits on a significant fall away, with the bottom of the pool 2m in height and the top nearly 4m. Significant in size at 9.7m x 4.5m, the pool is built on a bond deck with a steel sub structure.
The design itself was complex as the elevation brings with it many engineering difficulties and required significant excavation and steel work. This was exacerbated by the fact that during construction it was discovered that, because the pool is on concrete blocks and flush to the deck, it began to draw up moisture from the soil below the deck. “As a result we had to undertake significant clearing around the footing, jack hammering the powdery membrane and rebuilding with a membrane designed to withstand negative pressure from behind,” says John.
The pool has been designed to blend with the Australian native environment. “From an aesthetic perspective, our design addressed the need to not only blend with nature and make the most of the surrounding Australian landscape, but also deliver enhanced usability via ease of access for entertaining,” says John. “When you swim in it, the pool appears to float in the air above the stunning valley below.”
The pool includes six acrylic portholes that can be viewed when swimming in the pool and look out over the valley below. “Strategic lighting adds a stunning ambience both internally and externally, and the portholes enable underwater viewing of the surrounding landscape,” says John.
Frameless glass fencing ensures uninterrupted views, and a focus on natural materials delivers a seamless transition to the natural surrounds. And of course, in-floor paramount cleaning is unobtrusive while minimising maintenance. Delivered to budget and deadline, this outstanding project far exceeded the owner’s expectations.
About Minke Avant-Garde
Minke Avant-Garde, started in 2008 by John Negri, designs, builds and renovates concrete pools across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. The company builds approximately 30 pools a year, with a focus on quality, not quantity, and specialises in creating concrete pools within demanding environments.
A design consultation with the client is essential for Minke Avant-Garde to imagine the client’s dream pool. As well as repeat domestic clients, most work is referral based, with Minke Avant-Garde having established long-term relationships with some of Melbourne’s leading architects, landscape designers and builders.
The company is a member of SPASA, the Master Builders Association of Victoria and the Victorian Building Authority.
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