The Fairbank Poolhouse

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Location: South Downs, East Sussex, UK

Client: Paul Fairbank

Project Year: 2013

Cost: £500k - £2m

A masonry service block, clad in slate, forms the back of the pavilion, while the pool hall is contained by a floating flat roof structure, with large sliding glazed screens onto a terrace.
Roofs are planted to sit naturally within the landscape when viewed from the house.
The poolhouse provides a tranquil place to enjoy swimming, working out, relaxing and nature.
The architectural approach uses two contrasting forms – a solid, masonry service block that is dug into the sloping site and contains sauna, changing, showers and plant spaces – and a light, steel-framed pool hall set beneath a ’floating’ roof. These two elements are separted by continuous roof glazing to heighten the tension between heavy and light, solid and floating.
To the southernmost end of the pool hall, an open area provides for relaxing and gym activities.
The service elements are top-lit and clad in a dark coursed slate, while the pool hall roof has a slatted cedar soffite set within steel framed grid. All lighting is arranged to the periphery of the roof to leave this floating plane uninterrupted.
Slate flooring also lines the pool itself, and extends out to the terrace, which is also designed to float above the enclosed garden terrace.
The pool hall is enclosed by large sliding screens which completely slide away to leave an open corner to the south beneath oversailing roofs, while to the north, rendered walls sit within the glazed screens to partly enclose the pool space.
The roof above the service rooms is fully planted, while sedum covers the ‘floating’ roof above the pool, ensuring that the building merges with nature when viewed from the house.

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Stone service wall

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Poolhouse

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shower zone