Indoor Lap Pool Building+-

Project : Indoor Lap Pool Building

Location : Kent, Connecticut

Firm : George Ranalli Architect

Associates: Silman Engineers



The residential lifestyle of Litchfield County, Connecticut occupied an enclave of hardwood and pine forests rising to wooded hills, within a central valley, tranquil lakes and wide-open sky. The area is home to an accomplished community of artists – sculptors, painters, musicians, and writers.  In 1993, one resident – a novelist – living on 25-acres, bordered by low walls of dry stone, in an 18th century clapboard farmhouse.  commissioned a project to expand an old building on the property, formerly a chicken coop, used as a writing office. The request for an pool and pool house was to accommodate the daily swimming necessary to alleviate the aches and pains of sitting at a writing desk for hours on end.

A footpath through a large field of wildflowers and mature trees connected the main house and writer’s office. The project expands the eastern end of the old building to create an adjoining new 1,350-square-ft. enclosure for a 66-foot swimming pool, dressing area, Jacuzzi plunge bath, and exercise space.

The pool house features large skylights and east-facing windows, although windowless on the west side, and pivot doorways, offering expansive views of sky and open landscape.  Wood frame construction and wood cladding on the exterior and interior is enlivened with copper elements over horizontal Douglas fir board-and- batten on the roof, and wide wood-framed widows and doors.  A stepped cross-section of the maintains ample height above the pool and the walking lane beside it, while central skylights above the plunge pool impart a feeling of openness in the space.  The application of marine plywood is attuned to both board-and-batten exterior of the new building and the wood clapboard of the historic old farm buildings, offering an interior palate of honey-colored wood combined with travertine stone tile, much like the subtle hues and textures of its sumptuous natural landscape. The mass of the new building response to climatic necessity. The openings are held to the area necessary to prevent substantial heat/ cooling loss.