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New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1998

Aegean nights

page 166

Aegean nights

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Richly textured planting and a magnificent view of the harbour enhance this elegant cliff-top pool built by Rob Thomas Landscaping. Gas heating and a charcoal coloured surface raise the water temperature to such a degree that at night, swimmers could easily imagine themselves on some Aegean shore, rather than Auckland's eastern suburbs. The architecture of the Swan Railley Clapham designed house reinforces this Mediterranean atmosphere, as do sandstone tiles, plaster clad walls, dark green wrought iron fences and a row of olive trees on the eastern side of the boundary. A subtle reference to the site's New Zealand context is made through the use of mosaic tiles reminiscent of paua shell around the waterline and as an edging on the steps of the pool. Built on a sloping, north-facing site, the concrete pool required considerable reinforcing with a series of concrete beams and piers. Terraced lawns and planter beds were built around the pool and massive amounts of top soil trucked in. Rob Thomas Landscaping selected a flourishing mix of sculptural plants for the pool area and garden, which screen neighbouring properties without obscuring views. The owner, who loves to garden, has also added a variety of interesting and textural plants, such as the native cultivar Pseudopanax 'Fiddlesticks'. Rob Thomas Landscaping (09-570 4430). Mosaic tiles from Jacobsen Creative Surfaces (09-524 1460). Sandstone tiles from The Slate and Stone Centre (09-579 3326). Gas heating from Sunbather Systems Ltd (09-415 4588). Wrought iron fence made by Reinink's Wrought Iron (09-274 9372).

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