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Holland Park Subterranean Extension, Kensington and Chelsea

Moving floor swimming pool under garden of Grade II* listed house.

An ambitious but discrete project in a sensitive context

This project involved the insertion of a moving-floor swimming pool beneath the rear garden of a grade II* listed house in Kensington and Chelsea.

The listed building, conservation area and RBKC planning policy on subterranean developments were all sensitive factors that we successfully managed with our design, detailing and construction of the new swimming pool extension.

Our design for the pool space occupied the maximum permissible proportion of the garden under Kensington and Chelsea’s planning restrictions on subterranean development.

The swimming pool 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 took 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 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.


The development is located in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea, West London.