Architecture studio Surman Weston has created a pool house in the gardens of a large home in Surrey, UK, and raised it on a concrete plinth to overlook the surrounding forest.
Located close to Reigate Heath, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the structure was designed by London studio Surman Weston with landscape designer Matthew Childs, who helped identify a site within the gardens that are already dotted with seating and terraces.
“The client commissioned to project out of a wish to make greater use of the south-facing rear garden, and create new spaces for rest, exercise and socialising,” explained the studio.
“A bold geometric insertion into nature, the pool house acts as a counterpoint to the setting, a combination of mature woodland and a landscaped garden featuring exposed Westmorland stone and organically shaped ponds,” it continued.
Negotiating a 1.5-metre change in level across the site, the pool house is raised on a concrete base, topped by a disc-shaped floor plate.
Acting as both podium and terrace, this circular base is half sheltered and half open to the elements, and intersected by the 10-metre-long rectangular pool which projects outwards towards the forest.
The enclosed area of the pool house, sheltered by a semicircular corrugated-metal roof, is built from exposed Douglas fir that is visible on the underside of the canopy and interior ceiling.
A kitchen and seating area with a woodburning stove sits alongside a bathroom, divided by an area of storage. Full-height sliding doors allow these spaces to completely open out onto the terrace depending on the season.
“The palette is limited to three building materials: concrete, timber and a corrugated aluminium roof which projects over the front of the pool house to create a canopy and deep threshold between inside and out,” explained Surman Weston.
“Sliding doors allow the pool house to be fully opened up to the terrace, transforming the compact internal space into a far larger outdoor room suitable for alfresco dining, with a seamless transition through the use of poured concrete floors inside and out,” it continued.
The restrained material palette is carried through into the interior, where the pool house’s curved back wall has been finished in natural plaster with simple light fittings and wooden furniture.
London-based architecture studio Surman Weston was established in 2014 by Tom Surman and Percy Weston. Other recent projects by the studio include a teaching space in Hackney for children to learn about food, which was awarded the 2022 Stephen Lawrence Prize, and a home in Surbiton designed as a contemporary take on its mock-Tudor surroundings.
The photography is by Jim Stephenson.
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