Charging Renaissance Horses
Formal and elegant, the swimming pool of our client’s Spanish estancia looks out over the paddock. It was our client’s passion for all things equestrian that was the eventual inspiration for this swimming pool design.
It was a challenging brief to develop the idea into a glamorous and spectacular piece of swimming pool design.
Before the focus became firmly routed on ‘equestrianising’ the base of this swimming pool design, there had been plenty of ideas discussed. The rustic style of our client’s villa was considered and the colourful Hispanic culture featured in some early sketches.
As it developed, it became clear that a principle was being established – and that was to complement rather than mimic the client’s exterior architectural style; an elegant home of classical and generous proportions. Ultimately, bold Italian Renaissance sculptural pieces were the favoured inspiration, satisfying our client’s request for a sympathetic and appropriate connection with their passion for horses, without disruption to a formal and elegant atmosphere that was planned for the property.
At Craig Bragdy, we design and manufacture every tile by hand, from clay. This gives us the freedom to adapt the techniques used during manufacture and ensure they are sympathetic to the swimming pool design adding to the individuality of each project.
These majestic animals were carved by our artists as three-dimensional images onto the surface of the clay, reflecting the sculptures from which we took our inspiration. Each tile is hand cut from the clay, with lines that compliment the design. The glazes are all chosen from characteristics that will enhance the clay work and finally, highlights are added using enamels and lustres to give it a subtle hint of glamour.
Surrounding the horses is a backcloth of a night sky, designed to include relevant constellations – Aquila, Aries and Pisces are some that are featured. Several fiery comets speed past while a torrent of white water rages as these five magnificent creatures charge out of the pool.
As well as satisfying aesthetic goals, we also have to accommodate architectural and engineering requirements. Here we needed to integrate a pop-up self-cleaning system that required several fittings across the pool floor, each needing careful positioning to ensure it did not detract from the swimming pool design.
The cover of each fitting was colour matched to the tile surround and its position carefully considered. As the architect instructed “none of these creatures were to be shot through the neck!”
One most appreciated element of this project was a visit to our studio and factory by the client and his family during production – to see their pool near completion and to see how initial ideas and thoughts can be transformed into stunning works of art that last a lifetime.