Northbridge Pool

The project involved the construction of modern pool design for an art deco house on Sydney’s north shore. It required the replacement of a badly run down and poorly constructed pool area on a steep waterfront property in Sydney’s northern suburbs. The design sought to establish a strong connection between the existing house and the steep but spectacular land fronting middle harbour.

The house sits at the top of a huge, uncultivated block, which falls steeply to the waterfront. DKC had already refitted the interior of the house and built a boathouse complete with kitchen and showers, when he was asked to tackle the crumbling old pool.

It’s quite a tricky thing to get the relationship between a house a pool right. Resisting the temptation to mirror the Deco curves of the house DKC instead decided to make the pool starkly linear, placing it against the property as to open up optimum views from the house. Thus, the pool becomes more of a presence than an obstacle: you glimpse it through the rectangular openings at the top of the steps down to the terrace, but your eye travels on to the trees and water below.

The view is framed by the terrace, which runs obliquely to the sides of the property, and juts out on cantilevers over the bush below. Its glass fence disappears into the distance. Down on the terrace level, the pool feels more enclosed, and it has white walls on two sides and a pool house on the third. The latter is more a shelter than a house, with a copper roof protecting a bbq, sink, fridge and a custom-made teak refectory table.

The low-slung roof keeps the summer sun off the table but in winters it pulls in warmth and light. The bench on the terrace is similarly attuned to the weather – its polished concrete surface retains the heat of the sun well into the evening. Dazzling by day, this pool is just as spectacular at night. DKC hid the light sources on back facing walls so that from the house above you see no glare.

The modern pool design is a much loved aspect of this Northbridge family home.


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