Project Name: The Pool House

Location: Haslemere, Surrey

Date Completed: April 2016

Architect: Re-Format LLP

The mature and secluded site is located in Haslemere on the edge of the Surrey Hills, enjoying stunning, long ranging views towards the South Downs and beyond. The client’s brief was for a detached ancillary building to the existing house to provide an indoor pool and spa, gym, bicycle workshop and glasshouse. Above all, the building had to be beautiful, finely crafted at every detail using the highest quality materials. The Pool House needed to function effortlessly in a variety of environments, whether for a relaxing solitary swim or a family pool party for 30. It was important for the building to integrate seamlessly within the sensitive site, to complement its surroundings and in particular build a positive relationship with the main house in terms of scale, form and appearance. The Pool House takes a low slung form to satisfy planning constraints, and is set on a simple alignment to the main house, creating a dialogue and generating a more complete arrival space.

The design has been conceived as a simple copper pitched roof form with adjoining servant spaces in a low sedum roofed element, all contained by a continuous wrapping drystone wall. The contemporary design uses rich natural materials which create a warm and submissive palette (copper, limestone, oak) harmonising with the local vernacular. Generous sliding glass panels provide a connection to the gardens and glimpses of countryside beyond; expansive roof glazing floods the pool with daylight and views of the sky. Re-Format’s approach to the project was to adhere to a process of clarity – a balance of creativity and rational thinking. Creative design that required rigorous analysis and attention to detail that grew out of the constraints of the site and specifics of the brief.

Re-Format believe the success of the design is in its simplicity. A concept of a sharp floating copper roof, a wrapping stone wall, and glazed façade without over embellishment or fuss. Elegantly resolved details letting the natural material palette speak for itself. The design makes use of an unused piece of land which re-orders the plot to set up a dialogue with the house and create a dramatic entrance. In contrast, as the wrapping stone wall sits snuggly into the site, the project is discrete in its relationship with its neighbours. Client Testimonial: “The key strengths of Re-Format were to listen closely to our specification and ideas, and develop an outline concept design that really fulfilled them. They have the detailed design and project management know-how to support effectively through all the inevitable construction challenges. I thoroughly recommend them and they can be justly proud of the result”.