An Underground Pool in London

Tucked beneath a London townhouse, there is a swimming pool lit by Solatube skylights. If you’ve been to London and especially if you’ve visited people who live there, you know that Londoners live in small spaces. Middle income Londoners live in flats, not in detached houses as many can afford to do in Australia. Londoners with a few more financial resources at their disposal, live in townhouses and semidetached houses. These are narrow, multi-storey homes that share party walls with the neighbours. While many ordinary Aussies wouldn’t think twice about investing in a pool for their back garden, a private pool is nothing but a crazy dream for most Londoners, even wealthy Londoners.

Underground? Really?

Solatube UK had a customer with a dream. She wanted a private pool below her London house, because where else would you be able to put it? When you own London property, you’re lucky if you own a few square metres of garden out back. There’s almost never room for a pool in the garden. If you own a townhouse, then you’re fortunate if you own a space under and above it as well, so there’s your answer. A pool would make the most sense on the roof, but there’s cold and rain up there and who knows whether it would work, structurally. The other option is to dig down next to the foundation walls, possibly extending, reinforcing and underpinning as you go. That’s what was accomplished here. The results might look simple and straightforward, but the concept is revolutionary.

The Details Make it

A pool underneath a house in London could easily be a dim and musty place. Ordinarily, there would be no way to get natural light down there and ventilation would be a challenge as well. Solatube skylights can serve both functions. In this project, they provide natural light from behind beautiful custom made wooden louvers in the walls. This underground pool is lit by sunlight, rain or shine and well ventilated too.

Underground Pools in Australia?

If a Londoner can build an underground pool lit by Solatubes, then an Aussie could certainly do the same. In London, it makes sense to place a swimming pool indoors because of the almost constant chill in the air. Here in Oz, an underground pool would serve the opposite function; it would stay reasonably cool even on the hottest days of summer. It would be like a cool sea cave where friends and family could escape from the harsh sunlight and extreme heat. However, it would need to be dark. Like the underground pool in London, it could be brightly lit by Solatube skylights that would provide beautiful natural light and ventilation without bringing in the scorching heat or glare. We can dream, can’t we?

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