A retiring couple gave an unusual brief to architect Paul de Ruiter: design a home around their love of swimming for health and recreation, that they can live in as they grow old together, without having to move. So the house has no stairs, everything is all on one level. And at its heart is an enticingly warm swimming pool, kept at a pleasant 27 degrees C ( 81 degrees F).
The central swimming pool acts as a central light well,because its roof is lower than the surrounding roof, and incorporates skylights, pulling light down into the center of the house, and bouncing light into the surrounding rooms off its light-colored floors (in a sleek, white, highly waterproof material). Because the pool is surrounded by glass, it also prevents moisture problems in the rest of the house.
The reflected light bounces up into the study, creating a cheerful presence for an apres-swim read. What a great way to grow old! Because the swimming pool is surrounded by glass, it also prevents moisture problems in the rest of the house.
The pool is also part of the energy system, acting as a thermal sink. By linking the pool heating system with the low-temperature heating system of the house, in combination with a water pump, the pool area re-emits the energy it has absorbed and becomes part of the energy-saving climate system in the house. The swimming pool therefore helps to achieve the maximum yield from the energy available. On cold winter nights, this keeps the house snug and warm.
In hot weather, the western red cedar slats can be raised for sun shades, while the aluminum sliding windows behind them are slid all the way open, offering cool breezes through the house along the entire length of the southern façade. Or the wooden slats can be locked down at the base for security, even while the sliding glass is completely open; making a burglar-proof yet completely open house.
The house really has no fuddy-duddy qualities, embracing clean modern lines and great design throughout, showing that one does not have to unlearn one's appreciation for good design, or give up a wonderful healthy lifestyle of swimming, well into one's advanced years!