Rodić Davidson Architects

Heated Pools in Iceberg homes


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Out of sight of the Google’s satellite imagery, an extraordinary subterranean world is growing underneath central London.

A fascinating study, Mapping Subterranean London: The Hidden Geography of Residential Basement Developments 2008-2017 conducted by University of Newcastle students Sophie Baldwin and Elizabeth Holroyd has identified the scale of the development. 4,650 basement development projects in central London were granted planning permission between 2008 and 2017 .

Of the 4,650 consent basement projects, 376 of these applications propose swimming pools, the majority (224) being located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

With above ground space so limited and planning controls so strict, a new basement is also often the only way to enlarge a central London house. Originally largely unregulated by planning authority, the rules and regulations are now very strict. Despite the increasing regulatory control, it is still possible to create wonderful voluminous spaces that can transform living accommodation and add significant value.

A new basement can be the perfect place to accommodate a swimming pool and Rodić Davidson have designed several such schemes. We find that the decision to incorporate a swimming pool is usually a lifestyle choice with clients attracted by a feature that can be enjoyed by the family and make fitness easily accessible.

One of Rodić Davidson’s current basement schemes incorporates a swimming pool under a Grade II listed townhouse located within the St John’s Wood Conservation Area in City of Westminster. Our designs for the new basement, with cathedral-like high ceilings, transforms the property. Three walk-on roof lights will connect the garden to the basement.

How about a pool with a moveable floor? It is the perfect solution for a dual use room. The basement space can be transformed with a push of a button. A moveable floor swimming pool also allows the floor of the pool to be set at a chosen depth which is a good safety feature for children’s parties or for learning to swim. If the moveable floor is at full height a level surface can be achieved with the surrounding area, making for a great party or games room.


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