Twenty years ago, we had the privilege of constructing the pool for TV icon Kerri-Anne Kennerley. As the Australian summer approached and with her recent home renovation, Kerri-Anne felt that the pool had become too large for her current lifestyle. She expressed a desire not just for a pool update, but for a new space where she could entertain and enjoy more of the backyard.
Our goal, then, was clear: Re-envision the space while honouring its original charm. We aimed to introduce modern elements to the pool, ensuring it aligns with Kerri-Anne’s evolving tastes and the changing times, all while meeting the current benchmarks of luxury pool design.
In the realm of pool renovations, it’s crucial to note that most structural changes within the same building line don’t necessitate a council permit. Concrete pools present an unparalleled advantage in this aspect. While cosmetic alterations such as new interior linings, waterlines, coping, and surrounds are common across all pool types, concrete uniquely allows for substantial structural modifications. This flexibility means we can easily re-shape, add to, and modify the pool’s structure. On the contrary, fibreglass pools can’t be renovated with the same ease. Often, one might need to remove the entire shell and start from scratch. Thus, for those considering their pools as long-term investments, especially in their ‘forever homes’, concrete emerges as a lifetime favourite.
Halving the Pool Size: Initially, Kerri-Anne’s pool spanned a significant portion of her backyard. To cater to her new requirements, we came up with the innovative idea to divide the pool almost in half. By forming an end wall, we separated the shallow swimming area from the deep end. The deep end was transformed into a multi-purpose sunken lounge. The shallow end was re-envisioned as a plunge pool, complete with a long seated bench ledge running along its length. This became the perfect spot for drinks, entertainment, and relaxation, further enhanced with back jets to ensure water movement and provide a soothing touch for the body. As we reimagined the space by reducing the pool’s size, maintaining structural integrity was paramount. The new layout was meticulously planned with a focus on flow, functionality, and harmony with the surrounding landscape.
Sleek Glass Window Panel: Rather than constructing a traditional concrete wall to separate the newly envisioned sunken lounge, we chose to elevate the design by installing a spillover glass window panel, complemented by an overflow tank. This not only served as a functional divider but also introduced the soothing sound of running water, reminiscent of top-tier resort vibes. The glass panel, with its crystal clear nature, transformed the pool area. Its transparent quality offers a tantalising glimpse of the Adriatic blue water, turning it into a vibrant centrepiece that beckons visitors to take a closer look or even dive in. Installing this glass window panel required precision engineering; it was a structural alteration that needed seamless integration. The quality, thickness, and installation method of the glass were all meticulously chosen to withstand water pressure, ensuring unobstructed clarity and safety.
Sunken Lounge & Resort-Like Vibe: The deep end of the pool underwent a remarkable transformation into a sunken lounge. We meticulously crafted an integrated seating area, enhancing the ambience with a built-in fireplace – perfect for those cooler evenings. Recognising the importance of functionality, a handy sink was added within the entertainment zone. Given that this part of the yard was sun-drenched during afternoons, a strategically placed shade umbrella was installed. Crafting this sunken lounge added a layer of complexity to the construction process, demanding careful planning of depth transitions, drainage, and seating ergonomics. The resort-like atmosphere was further solidified through a thoughtful selection of materials, textures, and accessories, including vibrant cushions and lush greenery. Each element was selected not just for aesthetics but also with an emphasis on durability and comfort for the outdoor environment.
Considerations for Kerri-Anne’s Pet: Acknowledging the pool as a favourite spot for Kerri-Anne’s fur baby, safety and accessibility were key considerations in the design and material choice. Non-slip surfaces and appropriate entry and exit points were thoughtfully included.
Overall Integration: The entire renovation was carefully orchestrated to integrate with the existing garden and outdoor space. Coordination with other landscape elements, adjustments to the plumbing, and modifications to the filtration system were executed flawlessly to create a cohesive and luxurious oasis.
After the renovation, Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s backyard showcased a balanced mix of modern design and classic elements. The project was completed on time, within budget, and in line with Kerri-Anne’s expectations.
Kerri-Anne’s satisfaction with the result, as well as the enthusiasm of her pet, were clear indicators of the project’s success. The updated space also received positive feedback from guests.
With these enhancements, the pool is set to be a highlight for many summers and years ahead.