Wiltshire Pool House

Richmond Bell Architects, Wiltshire, 2020



Photography by Matthew Mudd/James Bell     Download Original

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RBA designed this timber-clad pool house with natural swimming pool for private clients in Wiltshire to replace two derelict existing outbuildings on their property

The site lies within an AONB, and so setting the new building into the surrounding landscape to minimise its visual impact was integral to the design. The pool house has stone gables, built from local Chilmark stone, and a timber cladding that wraps over to also cover the roof. Slates underneath the timber provide waterproofing, and part of the timber roof structure remains uncovered to provide a brise soleil shaded terrace area.

RBA also carefully considered the orientation of the building to maximise solar gain on the south elevation. Solar panels have been integrated here to provide renewable energy for the building, reducing its environmental impact. The building makes further use of modern technology with SureCav panels. These allow a stone outer skin to be built without the need for an additional block leaf. As a result, less concrete is needed during construction.

The clients and contractor were excited to discover some large ammonite fossils during the excavation of the foundations. Most were broken but the contractors were able to retrieve one smaller one in its entirety and incorporate it into the gable end wall of the pool house.

The contoured curved meadows adjacent to the pool were landscaped to encourage biodiversity and also protect the pool from prevailing winds. Internally, the clients use the main space of the pool house as a living area and games room. A striking floating log burner is the main feature of this space. With the view through to the natural pool, meadows and sunset provided by the corner glazing, it creates a truly relaxing and hygge environment.

Annual CO2 emissions data was not provided.


  • Begun: May 2019
  • Completed: Feb 2020
  • Floor area: 130m2
  • Sector: Sports and leisure
  • Total cost: £277,200
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Mar 2019
  • Procurement: Traditional
  • Address: Tisbury, Wiltshire, SP3, United Kingdom

Professional Team