• Hove Garden Studio and Pond

    Hove Garden Studio and Pond


    As architects based in Hove, we specialise in creating bespoke garden rooms tailored to our clients’ needs and the unique characteristics of each site. Our latest project near Hove Park is an exciting endeavour, combining a garden office with a variety of elements to create a true garden haven. This project features an extended timber-clad outbuilding complete with a sauna, changing area, and external shower. The structure seamlessly integrates with timber decking that extends directly over the marginal plants of a swimming pond. The client’s vision was to create an environment where they could dive directly into the pond from the decking, enjoying water purified naturally, free from chlorine and artificial cleaners. A further key consideration was to allow the client to be able to swim for a suitable length, with this in mind the pond had to be a sufficient length and width.

    As with all our projects, the design process begins with a detailed 3D exploration of the setting. Once the design is agreed upon, we develop a series of technical drawings before putting the project out to tender with local contractors. Throughout this process, we collaborate closely with consultants, including structural engineers and specialists in swimming ponds as well as groundworks companies. Our recent meetings with these experts focused on reviewing and refining the integration of the swimming pond within the garden and against the outbuilding development.

    A swimming pond aims to provide a holistic, cleaner and more enjoyable swimming experience. This more natural look was preferred within this project and will nicely alongside the timber clad outbuildings.

    The principle stems from the process found within nature. Lakes and ponds are kept clear by a combination of plants and micro-organisms, including beneficial bacteria. These organisms break down organic waste matter into substances that plants can absorb as nutrients. This natural process is fundamental to the concept of the swimming pond.

    The pond excavation follows a ‘hybrid approach’, the excavation resembling a rice paddy configuration with stepped levels. A liner, similar to that used in regular garden ponds, is applied. The key difference lies in the filtration and pumping system between a swimming pond and a conventional garden pond. With a swimming pond, this system circulates water through multiple filters, including a phosphorous filter and UV filtration, to remove components that cause algae. Further to this, swimming ponds consist of two merging zones that create an ecologically balanced and self-cleaning environment. Each zone is roughly equal in size. The shallow regeneration zone acts as a biological filter and is densely planted with aquatic vegetation. An internal wall, ending approximately 20cm below the water surface, separates this zone from the swimming zone, allowing free movement of water while keeping the swimming area free of vegetation.

    Water is continuously pumped from the pond through these filters and back, maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

    For this project, we conducted a detailed site measurement to ensure the pond’s dimensions met the client’s requirements. We also explored the terrain of the garden, sun path, and vegetation within the garden, this helped in determining the orientation of the pond. The client desired an 11-metre-long pond for swimming, with the width being six metres. The tiered marginal zones were carefully designed to blend aesthetically while achieving the desired functional space. The areas to the size of the 11 metre ‘swimming lane’ were to be more heavily planted.

    This project showcases how thoughtful architectural design can harmonise with nature, creating beautiful, sustainable garden spaces that enrich the living experience.

    If you are interested in a garden studio in Hove or London or would like the opportunity to explore a swimming pond, please feel free to contact us at Shape Architecture.