Over Pool House
Jane Riddell Architects
Hawthorn, VIC, Australia
Over Pool House was designed to allow for contemporary family life to play out beyond the formal front rooms of an existing Edwardian house. The pool sits at the threshold between old and new built form and provides the element of surprise as one moves between the 2 parts of the house. The house continues JRA’s exploration of house/pool relationship and the inherent opportunities in duality of pool as both water feature and recreation. The addition to Over Pool house was conceived as a suspended assemblage of first floor forms, bound together by a battened screen. The screen provides both privacy to the first floor and is also a formal device, as it hangs over the pool, offering a sense of partial enclosure and intimacy. Its ambiguous volume extends the sense of space at the first-floor corridor and internal void and the varying texture of the double-sided battens filter patterned light into spaces below.
The façade along the length of the pool is fully glazed, allowing external engagement with the sequence of internal living spaces and their material relationships. Views from inside and views from outside are considered equally. The new first floor form is held off the existing volume with a linear window that provides views into a corner of pool below. Stair and pool coincide at the junction of old and new – both conspiring to pull us up and through the house. The underlying principle was to create a place where a family could live in a relaxed and informal way – behind the conventional façade of the period house and where they could engage with water and greenery.