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.”
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.