West Common, Harpenden

Our client was very keen to have a swimming pool that could be used throughout the year, by their young, outdoor loving children and family and to be a social area for visiting friends and relatives.

The paved, swimming pool surround was laid with sawn, Harvest sandstone paving which was finished with a rounded, bullnose, edge, running around the pool perimeter. Adjoining paths were also laid in the same Harvest sandstone, to give a soft, understated, contemporary feel to the garden.

A pool house was constructed and clad in Western Red Cedar, with oak framed bi-fold doors, to provide changing and shower facilities, as well as space for relaxing and a pool table.

To minimise heating costs, the swimming pool was designed to be as thermally efficient as possible. The pool was constructed from pre-formed, insulated, structural, panels, which along with an insulated pool cover, helps to keep in as much heat as possible.

An air-source heat pump, which extracts the heat from the air to raise the temperature of the pool water, was specified, which depending on the time of the year, eliminates or minimises the heating costs for the swimming pool.


As a backdrop to the pool, along the far boundary, stand tall, pleached, evergreen, Magnolia grandiflora, below which the evergeen climber, Tracheosperumum jasminoides, fills the air with a heady jasmine scent, and in front large box cubes, provide a sculptural element and Blue African lillies colour throughout the summer.

These plant textures are repeated through the garden, with pleached Hornbeam introduced along one boundary to provide privacy from neighbouring houses, with clipped box hedges and domes creating the evergreen structure to the garden, with lavenders, salvias, grasses and trees, Amelanchiers and Sambuca ‘ Black Lace, the strong focal points and ornamental interest.

Before Construction