A plywood “bunker” encourages interaction between people in the pool and those lounging nearby. Photo / Dean Bradley

Outdoor Oasis: A New Brighton Home Receives A Sumptuous Poolside Makeover

A transformation with a compelling case for lush recreational areas, and a bunker-like retreat

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Project architects: Dan Gayfer Design

The clients: A highly active family of six who frequently entertain.

Project summary: The rear area of this New Brighton, Melbourne, home was reconfigured to provide amenities for four children, parents and friends. The project includes a refurbished outdoor living area, lap pool and spa, timber pool lounge, poolside “bunker”, a powder room and recreational areas.

The original site: The previous outdoor living area was too small, the lawn terrace was sloped, and there was unusable dead space. Ultimately there was no reason for people to occupy these spaces even in favourable weather.

The brief: To provide a larger living area for dining and entertaining while ensuring enough space was retained for a spa, 12m lap pool, a covered retreat (bunker), powder room, storage and lawn terraces. Amenities were to be incorporated for both adults and children so everyone could stay outside for hours.

Photo / Dean Bradley

The solution: An existing outdoor living space was extended to include a honed masonry fireplace, AV hub and movable lounge set on castor wheels, allowing the space to be reconfigured depending on the number of people occupying the space. A timber deck separates the spa and lap pool, and is easily accessed from both the outdoor living area and the concrete pool terrace. A bench is provided for drinks, towels, clothes and sunscreen. The lap pool widens at one end to provide a deeper diving area, this area also incorporates a swimout for lounging in the pool.

The plywood “bunker” is orientated towards the house and encourages interaction between people in the pool and those lounging nearby. The bunker features custom seating, planters and a recessed bar fridge providing a poolside haven for children and adults. A powder room at the rear of the bunker and an adjacent recreation terrace add to the flexibility and functionality.

The details: The pool bunker is unique in that it is highly customised to the family’s lifestyle. The covered area facilitates comfortable lounging with custom upholstered squabs orientated towards the pool and television. A bar fridge is recessed into the rear plywood wall of the bunker with cupboards for glassware. An open shelf above the fridge contains board games, books and magazines. These amenities are all protected from the weather, allowing use of the bunker year round.

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