When you’re planning to build your dream pool in Sydney, it is essential to understand the rules and regulations before starting construction. Your local council will set these rules, so be sure to contact them before you start building. They will also tell you if there are any power lines located near the location where you want to build your pool. These power lines will need to be moved before construction can start, and this process is costly and time consuming.
Whether they’re serene at low tide, choppy at high or serving as shark deterrents in the 1930s, rock pools are as much a part of Sydney as its beaches. Designed by architects to give swimmers a safe retreat from the surf and a place to enjoy the sea when the southerly winds blow, they are an essential feature of many Sydney beaches.
There are over 40 public 50-metre swimming pools in Sydney today — more than New York and Los Angeles combined — but these shallow, rocky enclaves were where Australia’s love affair with the water began. It wouldn’t be too far a stretch to say that the Australian swim team’s impressive haul of 15 medals in 2004 was partly due to its time spent at these beach-side rock pools.
Sydneysiders are renowned for their fondness of these water-filled grottoes and they are at the heart of the city’s social fabric. Zoe Baker, mayor of North Sydney, recalls her own childhood visits to the city’s public pools which she says were a “basic big blue rectangle” with patches of grass and concrete on which to lay a towel.
“What I love about places like the Bronte pool and Bondi Icebergs is the sense that they allow simultaneously a really broad cross section of people to enjoy them,” she says. “That’s what these pools are all about.”
A number of Sydney-based pool builders have collapsed recently, leaving many clients with unfinished projects and piles of dirt in their backyards. One, Scenic Pools, had advertised itself as being about ‘complete transparency’, but emailed customers on May 3 to say the company was no longer trading. It was placed in liquidation on June 21.
During the 1960s and 1970s, pool designers such as Frank Gehry, Rogers Stirling and James Birrell gave shape to the idea that the swimming pool could be a piece of art. Their designs departed from the conventional pools of the day which were mostly box-like structures. Instead, they took advantage of the natural beauty of a body of water to create pools that are sculptural, organic and seamlessly integrate with their surroundings. The result is a unique aesthetic that has captured the hearts of Australians and other people all over the world. This ethos is now being embraced by contemporary artists who are exploring the relationship between architecture, landscape and water. Their work aims to capture the smells, sounds and feel of swimming pools. The Venice Biennale exhibition, The Pool, by Isabelle Toland, Amelia Holliday and Michelle Tabet is a case in point.