• Blair gratton architects swimming pool

About This Project

Hazlewood Pool: Architect, Design, Planning, Production, On-Site Contract Administration.
Hazlewood in Derbyshire is elevated above the village of Duffield and the properties there enjoy the benefit of views extending across countryside to and beyond Derby. In winter the weather can be harsh.
Not since the ’70’s had the property owned by our clients in Hazlewood been upgraded externally. The pool was good but the large area around it had suffered from neglect and the changing room block was derelict and broken.
The house is positioned on the side of a hill with the front door accessed from a flight of steps leading from the driveway to the top of a brick retaining wall with concrete cast palisading. The wall too was broken and unsound.
Our clients knew that the whole area had to be modernised, the changing room block restored and the frontage made secure. The clients were interested in using a range of materials to characterise a range of external spaces which they had in mind.
Stabilising the front was a priority, removal of the brick retaining wall would have meant shuttering to prevent the house sliding down the hill, so this was left and a Derbyshire limestone gabion wall designed to support it. More brickwork was not an option for the clients who did not like the red brick, the limestone was offered as a material natural to the area which in the form of gabions gives a modernity and freshness. Render and slate are used on the steps and walls, even the handrail is bespoke designed by Simon Gratton, the Architect.
At the rear composite decking is fitted flush to the open plan kitchen helping to remove the definition of internal and outside space, creating a large dining area. The same material is laid outside the new changing room block which was effectively re-built. The block includes a sauna, shower and toilet with sliding folding aluminium doors leading out to the pool side.
Level changes have been adjusted and steps lead up from the pool level to upper sitting spaces. The theme of render and slate is carried through with the handrail design. For comfort, rubberised surfacing is used around the pool. The clients wanted an attractive material to cover some large areas which would be comfortable. Gravels and slabs are not ideal around pools. We researched the material used in children’s play areas and once the client found that this could be provided in bespoke mixes, she went ahead. The completed surface is warm to the eye and comfortable.
Materials and detailing have been chosen to offer a degree of robustness and context to Derbyshire whilst creating a fresh, modern environment reminiscent of hotter climates.