New addition to a historic house. Underground box with highly loaded glass rooflight and a glass wall that moves through the water of the swimming pool.

The full renovation of a sizeable Victorian building on the Blackwater in Ireland includes a new spa and pool. The architect recognised the importance of keeping the new facility adjacent to the existing castle and therefore directly accessible, without obscuring the impressive elevations of the castle itself. The solution was to bury the spa below ground.

Eckersley O’Callaghan was retained as the structural engineer for the project, designing a concrete box below ground to house the pool and spa. Limitations on levels, and the additional challenge of running the landscape over the roof, demanded a creative solution. Long-span precast units were used to maximise span without the need for internal columns while minimising structural depth. 

Within the green roof is a large skylight which EOC designed with glass beams to support it, giving the capacity for full garden party loading. 

One end of the pool is separated from the outside by a fully automatic frameless glazed door that slices through the pool water surface and is designed to withstand wind loads as a membrane in the closed position. 



Munkenbeck + Partners