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PiP Architecture

PiP Architecture

Cambridge, England

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PiP Architecture - The Pool House

PiP Architecture

PiP were commissioned to submit proposals to the local authority for the erection of a new superstructure above an existing swimming pool substructure. The existing shell, plant and services were to be removed to make way for the development. The application was approved under delegated powers by the local authority, receiving praise from planning officers for its innovative and well-conceived design.

After having the timber frame shipped from the United States, where it was manufactured, the components were transported to site for erection. Consideration to the site access constraints played a very important role during the design phase where it was established that the larger components - measuring up to 400mm in diameter and 9.0m in length – could be delivered and erected in the old quarry site, which would be accessed via a 3.5m private drive over a site variance of 2.5m.

Although the previous structure and fabric had come to the end of its life-cycle, the actual pool structure was in very good condition. Following a structural assessment, it was determined that the concrete pool structure could have in excess of 25 years remaining. This was offset against the anticipated pool replacement cost of £50,000 and it was agreed that the retention of the existing pool presented the best economical approach. Redwood was the preferred material of choice given the lengths of the posts required, and has a life expectancy of over 40 years – exceeding the clients’ requirements. The roof tiles, which are Factory Glazed Clay Interlocking, are less susceptible to cracking in frost, and hardwood was used for all the window joinery.

Due to the tight nature of the site and the maximum widths we could span the joists between columns, a large proportion of the piles were driven within a metre of the pool structure. The clients requested that the full-height frameless glazing was to run behind the posts and in front of the pool, resulting in a structural width of 225mm between pool structure and pile cap.

The building fabric has been insulated to a level which exceeds minimum Building Regulation compliance, something that we, as a business, do not take lightly. South facing windows have been treated with SunCool to reduce over-heating. Highly efficient combination boilers run the wet underfloor heating system at a very low, constant temperature, reducing our clients’ energy bills significantly. A specialist was bought in to specify and install the plant filtration and heat recovery system to the pool room. Large over-hangs on the South face were also designed to allow for summer cooling.