By any definition a 35-metre swimming pool is a momentous private project: for those building it, those looking after it, and, of course, for those lucky enough to use it. But because of its wonderful location, the client wanted something extra for the pool: a design that would also make a lasting impression on those living above and around it.
The pool would be placed at the centre of a private residential complex at Stubbs Road, Mid-levels, Hong Kong. It was to be sited at the foot of a twin tower construction of private accommodation soaring to 72 storeys. The client wanted something truly sensational – for swimmers, but also for those who would be able see it from the balconied apartments hundreds of feet above.
Given the considerable dimensions (35m long x 15m at its middle) a simple blue pool would have made a impact here. The client, though, had something even more striking in mind – a lasting statement. A bold motif was proposed: Halley’s Comet.
A spectacular view
The finished ceramic is a great visual statement incorporating a spectacular birds-eye view for tenants. Its effect continues after sunset, with the pool’s traditional wall lighting and over 300 fibre optics tracing the trajectory and dynamism of the design, concentrated at the head of each comet and then dissipating across the tails.
Swimmers enjoy vibrant colour, with gloriously refracting images as the water moves around the pool, as well as a confidence-inspiring and pleasingly tactile under-foot experience.
It is an eye-popping work of ceramic art, so strikingly expressive in fact, that to swimmers, tenants and visitors, the original connection to Halley’s Comet is perhaps a faint one. Not so for the project’s owner though, whose daughter was born the year that comet last screamed passed us, in 1986. Her name, fittingly, is Haley.