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69 GARTEN ART:SPN Master pages 15/1/09 16:20 Page 3
spnfeature
FROM POOLS
TO PONDS?
gartenART in the past four years has
THIS: A formal orthodox pool structure but
with pools and reeds and other aquatic
shown that the concept of a natural
plants to help purify the water.
INSET: A classic pond pool with clear safe swimming pond is fast gaining public acclaim
water to swim in
he brainchild of the young Anglo- programme which allows it to be For the first time, too, the company has
T
German partnership of Tim Evans experienced in virtual reality, with views built a pond in a facility open to the public,
and Ralf Schmiel, gartenART are from all angles and perspectives to give reflecting an established trend in Germany
winning themselves acclaim as the the fullest sense of what is intended. and Austria.
UKs leading designers and builders of Owners now decide how they wish to What is drawing people away from pools
swimming ponds, a natural bespoke proceed. Most ask gartenART to complete to ponds? Tim Evans cites three main
alternative to the chemically cleaned, the project, but there is the option of whole motivations.
maintained and filtered swimming pool. or part DIY whereby detailed plans are “First, they see it as a more individual
In 2008 the company built its first pool supplied and the owner takes on some or amenity – a private, bespoke bathing-
outside the UK in Greece and the first all of the construction work. In either case, space unlike any other, with low
natural pool in a country pub. gartenART are available to provide advice maintenance and no health risks.
So rather than draw on a portfolio of and any of the specialist materials required. “Second, they recognise the aesthetic
predictable designs, lined in fibreglass or Last year the company completed the power of a water-feature, with distinctive
concrete, gartenART create an original first natural pool outside the UK in Greece, and constantly changing plant-life that
feature which harnesses the natural built the first natural pool in an English makes it a natural focus for a garden.
properties of reeds, rushes and other country club, and carried out more “But perhaps the strongest appeal is to
aquatic plants to purify water within an swimming pool conversions, as well as the conscience. Here is a way to add value
invisible, flexible membrane. The only continuing work of designing and building and pleasure which is essentially green –
mechanical elements are a small filter to original natural swimming pools and after all, the pond is a naturally sustainable
remove surface debris and a part-time pump swimming ponds in UK domestic gardens. facility that largely looks after itself.”
to circulate water in the planting area. No two swimming ponds are the same, Other advantages are manifesting
The strength of the gartenART concept not only because every garden is different themselves as owners settle into being a
is that it works with its environment and but because owners can give free rein to pond-owner: one said that they had “no
draws inspiration for the design from it. their imagination and create an individual more mosquitoes since the dragonflies eat
The process from drawing board to waterscape, with its own shape and them all”; another, that it was “like swimming
handover takes from six to eight weeks, colours that change with the season. in Evian water”; again, “the kids don’t need
depending on the complexity of the design. Though space is a factor, many of to wear goggles”; and “it’s a wonderful way
Costs are comparable to similar-size gartenART’s most successful ponds have for the children to learn about nature,
conventional pools but maintenance is been built in town or suburban gardens. naturally”. Estate agents Strutt and Parker
lower because there is less to do, less often. The company is only four years old and have commented that a swimming pond is
The design team produce two- there are now three full-time designers and likely to increase a property’s appeal.
dimensional drawings. Once these are two construction teams, working not only In March this year gartenART will open a
agreed, they create a three-dimensional on British ponds but projects from France, second gartenART office, in Sydney,
model, using an architectural computer Italy and Greece. Australia. spn
“HERE IS A WAY TO ADD VALUE AND PLEASURE WHICH IS
ESSENTIALLY GREEN – AFTER ALL, THE POND IS A NATURALLY
SUSTAINABLE FACILITY THAT LARGELY LOOKS AFTER ITSELF”
Visit our website at www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk FEBRUARY 09 swimming pool news 69
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