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Designing The Swimming Pool Ceiling

Updated: Aug 6, 2019


Amongst the many features gracing our new build luxury home in Kensington one of the most exciting is probably the ceiling in the basement swimming pool room. In addition to a 17m long pool, the space hosts a large Jacuzzi spa, a gym behind a full height clear glass wall opposite and a seating area on the deck overlooking the swimming lanes, with a 4m long oval ceiling oculus bringing day light in.


Since some time had elapsed from sign off of this room until start on site we had the opportunity to sharpen and refine the initial proposal, which turned out to be quite a departure from the original design approved by the client.

An office sailing trip in the Solent provided the inspiration for our swimming pool room mood. Our approach then took the cue from the shape of water waves, which could complement the fluid dynamism of the activity taking place below the ceiling.


We then started researching patterns that could suggest movement and entertain the eye, bind the whole space together and provide a wow factor for this room.

After settling on GRG for the construction of the ceiling, further investigation had us moving from modular coffers displaying various intensities and degrees of smoothness…

… to a single coffer with stepped edges forming a streamlined abstract composition interacting with the glazed oculus at one end.

To translate the initial rough sketch into a geometry that could be edited for costing and manufacturing we had to rationalise the initial free hand sketch into a set of curves that could flow as smoothly as possible within a limited range of variations.

Once we set out the principles, we proceeded to assemble the curves in CAD to provide the GRG manufacturer with a schedule of lengths and radii for costing.

For the stepped offset edges of the coffer we developed a tapered profile to conjure up a “papercut” detail, accentuated by the LED strip lighting coming from behind which will make the ceiling tiers appear as floating.

These CGI's show what the finished space will look like compared to a work in progress previous pictures.

The wall spanning the whole length of the swimming pool room including the gym is clad in stone routed with a wavy pattern to echo the ceiling shapes and provide further interest adding up to the interplay of shadows and reflections of several solid and liquid waves combined.


Working on this ceiling has been an exciting trip which kept us fully absorbed and saw the client, the whole design team and specialist trades contributing with quality feedback and enthusiasm to achieve something we trust will be a magnificent feature in this outstanding house.


Read more about this project here: https://www.colwynfoulkes.co.uk/palace-green


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