Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Water World: A Natural Swimming Pool, Lily Pads Included


Water World: A Natural Swimming Pool, Lily Pads Included

August 20, 2017

Near Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire in the United Kingdom is a natural swimming pool that looks like an idyllic pond and has an aquatic garden to keep the water clean—no chlorine needed.

The chemical-free pool, designed by Sarah Murch of Ensata and built in partnership with Austria-based Biotop natural pool specialists, has a regeneration zone where waterlilies and other plants purify and filter the water:

Photography by Jeremy and Sarah Murch, courtesy of Ensata.


Above: The client’s property has a high water table and is prone to flooding. “We constructed a raised pool with a reinforced concrete base and appropriate drainage,” says Murch.


Above: Surrounding the pool are dry stone terraces with perennial plants and grasses to “soften the raised edges and to integrate the pool into our client’s garden,” says Murch.

The pool has a paved shallow end and a sloped beach.


Above: “Wooden steps lead from the larch deck into the deep end, and we particularly like the ‘floating’ stepping-stones leading across the water,” says Murch.

Heated by solar energy from the sun, the pool’s water temperature fluctuates between 70 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. “Stone coping on the submerged walls helps to warm the water,” says Murch. “This pool really warms up quickly thanks to the shallow beach and the plant filter.”


Above:  The pool’s swimming area measures about 39 feet long and 13 feet wide.

“We planted the regeneration zone with some of our client’s own water lilies which have been in her family for 100 years,” says Murch.


Above: Under the larch deck, pool equipment and pumps are hidden in a service chamber.

“Water circulates through the plant filter and back into the pool via the millstone and jets on the beach, creating soothing ripple patterns,” says Murch. “The bubbling carbonator jets look very pretty.”

Above: Irises grow at the edge of the pool.

For another natural swimming pool, see Architect Visit: A Natural Pool and Passive House in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network