Imagine being tasked with adding a spa compound—two pools and an indoor sanitarium—to an historic Swedish property with a manor home dating to 1796. Should the annex blend in, mimicking the estate’s 18th century Gustavian architecture? Or should it embrace 220 years of progress and be modern in style? If you’re multidisciplinary Swedish design firm
Claesson Koivisto Rune—a longtime Gardenista favorite—you adroitly split the difference: with boldly modern structures covered in glossy white tile, arranged in a parquet patterned nod to Neoclassical style.
Åke E:son Lindman, courtesy of Claesson Koivisto Rune. Above: The chevron pattern of the glossy white tiles mimics the parquet wood flooring popular in France (and Sweden) in the 17th and 18th centuries. The weathered wood decking is laid in the same pattern, but larger in scale. Above: The designers embraced the pool water as part of the materials palette, intending for the white tile to take on increasingly dark turquoise hues as the pool stairs get deeper.
The pool water, according to the designers, has the “added function of beautifully lifting the tile pattern from the bottom of the pool to the surface, refracted and distorted by ripples.”
Above: There are two pools in the spa complex; an outdoor pool for summer, and an indoor pool for use in winter. The outdoor pool is directly above the indoor pool, which was built underground. Above: The indoor pool is accessed through a stairwell in the smaller of the two parquet pavilions. Above: The outbuildings are meant to complement the scale of the rest of the estate without mimicking the original buildings’ Gustavian style. Above: The larger of the two pavilions shields an outdoor kitchen and dining room. Above: At each end of the smaller pavilion is a tiled door with pitched top and no casing—the silhouette of the pavilion itself in miniature. Above: The entire spa complex is composed of four materials—tile, wood, water, and glass—plus an iron railing. Above: A sauna and shower is obscured behind amber-tinted glass in the underground, indoor pool area. Above: Without natural light, the white tiles in the indoor pool take on flatter shades of turquoise. Above: Both pavilions are archetypically “house-shaped” structures, and look as though they might have been extruded from the concrete platform on which they stand. Above: The modern pool cluster was added to a property with a mansion and farmhouse dating from 1796. Above: The pavilions and pools are perched atop (and within) a concrete platform, which levels a grassy slope and provides an elevated view over the bucolic landscape.
Finally, get more ideas on how to integrate a swimming pool into your landscape or exterior home project with our
Hardscaping 101: Swimming Pools guide.