Subterranean Swimming Pool, Kensington

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The project, completed in September 2012, involved the insertion of a moving-floor swimming pool beneath the rear garden of a grade II* listed house in Kensington and Chelsea within a sensitive subterranean development.

The pool space occupies the maximum permissible proportion of the garden under Kensington and Chelsea’s increasingly tight controls over subterranean development. It incorporates a moving floor allowing the pool area to be used as a games room or entertainment space incorporating a home cinema as well as for swimming. With the garden reinstated in a simple formal style there is little evidence from above of the complex technical achievements contained in the new heavily serviced space below.

Haines Phillips has taken the project from concept design through to completion of construction, during which time the owners continued to occupy the house. Planning permission and listed building consent were granted following a very detailed submission including studies covering structural engineering, mechanical services, sustainable urban drainage matters and construction procedures.

Building work was carried out under two separate contracts – one for the construction of the structural serviced shell and general finishes and fittings, and another for the moving floor, filtration and air handling equipment and pool finishes.

Client: Private.

Main Contractor: Velmead Contracts Ltd

Structural Engineer: Sinclair Johnston

Services Engineer: John Evans Associates

Quantity Surveyor: James Simler and Associates

Pool Contractor: Portrait Pools

Photography: Jefferson Smith

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Our services included:

Concept & Feasibility Design

Planning & Listed Building Applications

Full Architectural Services


Interior Design Services

Project Management & Contract Administration