Indoor Lap Pool Building
Project : Indoor Lap Pool Building
Location : Kent, Connecticut
Firm : George Ranalli Architect
Associates: Silman Engineers
Litchfield County, Connecticut is a central valley enclave of tranquil lakes and pine forests rising to wooded hills and wide-open sky, and home to a community of accomplished artists, including sculptors, painters, musicians, choreographers, and writers. In 1993, one such resident, a novelist, living on a 25-acre parcel of farmland, bordered by low walls of dry stone, commissioned a project for a pool house and pool, to accommodate a daily swimming ritual necessary to alleviate the aches and pains that came from writing for hours on end. The client occupied the 18th century clapboard farmhouse and worked a short distance away by footpath in another old farm building, once used as the chicken coop.
The architectural solution placed a rectangular volume at the eastern end of the old chicken coop, making space enough for a 1,350-square-foot enclosure around a 66-foot swimming pool and plunge bath. Inside the transitional space between old and new buildings, unique areas were allocated for showering, changing, and yoga. The pool house is designed to capture natural sunlight and open sky through large rooftop skylights. Wide wood-framed windows and pivot doors, facing east look onto a field of mature trees and wildflowers, while the western end of the structure is appropriately windowless for both privacy and energy efficiency. The wood frame structure, wood cladding, and a stepped cross section of horizontal board-and- batten roofing, which features copper elements, provides ample height above the pool and adjacent walkway. Both the exterior facade, and the design for an interior wrapped in marine plywood, harmonize with the old farm buildings, and a palate of honey-colored wood and travertine stone pavers harmonize with the subtle hues and texture of the surrounding landscape.