When I look back at the rollercoaster of a journey I’ve had in these past few years, certain key moments stand out – those of personal triumphs, professional accomplishments, and challenges overcome. One of these moments that I seldom go back to is the commission we received for creating an art installation by the side of a plunge pool. This project holds immense significance for me: it marked the first time we conceptualized something completely on our own, making a proposal to the client.
I remember I visited the site and met with the client and the architect in order to understand their intent. The brief was simple: they didn’t want a typical sculpture or a wall mural, but a larger art installation that could markedly enhance the outdoor spatial character. My eyes were immediately drawn to the unattractive plastic grating that surrounded the pool. We decided, therefore, to create an artistic pool edge that could double up as the grating, allowing the overflow water from the pool to circulate.
The technical challenge lied in the selection of the stone and its thickness. We needed to ensure that the stone thickness afforded enough structural strength so people could walk over the grating. At the same time, it was important that the stone be light enough so individual pieces could be lifted and removed for regular maintenance. Two-inch-thick slabs of Nero Marquina marble in 30” x 72” and 30” x 30” modules provided the perfect solution; the panels were simply placed on a metal framework.
The design is beautiful, yet rooted in functionality. In a reference to the undulating water in the pool, an elaborate ripple effect was created on the stone surface, making it resistant to skidding.
Furthermore, artistic lattice patterns were cut out – in the centre of the panel and on the sides – to ensure the circulation of overflow water and the removal, if required, of individual panels for maintenance. The circular drain cut-out in the centre can be lifted in isolation as well to clear out jammed leaves.