We are totally in love with it too of course and are grateful that we had the architectural smarts of local creative John Burgess to work with to realise our vision. “It was so satisfying to work with him through the creative process, watching my initial concept develop into a fully fledged plan for the right materials, lighting, landscaping and the special features that give the project its signature Bower edge,” says Taliah Lowry, owner/creative of The Bower.
We asked John Burgess, Director of John Burgess Architects, who not only developed the concept for the pool oasis with Taliah, but was also behind the transformation of the tired 60’s motel into the sophisticated, contemporary take on an Australian beach motel that The Bower is today, for some info on the inspiration and goals that drove the pool project.
"I was commissioned to design the pool for The Bower and started with the premise that the development needed a heart. The idea was to provide a pool that was connected clearly to the spirit and atmosphere that had already been created at The Bower and continue the theme of tropical modernity with a New York twist. At the centre of the motel lay a large grassed area that clearly presented an opportunity for something interesting to occur. This central sloping grassed area had the possibility to become a focal point. An Oasis. The landscape would be very important to the whole project in order to fulfil the desire to create a luxury sanctuary close to the centre of Byron.
The pool was to be the jewel in The Bower’s crown and after examining options of a rectangular and then asymmetrical shaped pool, the idea for a circular pool came to really exaggerate that sense of focus and centre. I sought a space that had a sense of tranquillity but in a bold form. A circular pool would be a departure from the norm and something that could intrigue and delight. It would provide the signature Bower stamp.
The concrete terrace surrounding the pool is a bold and practical material that allows the pool water to sit only 40-50mm below. The soft glass bead internal pool finish is a special bespoke colour, batched to seamlessly blend with the concrete surround making the pool appears as if it has been carved out of its surrounds - the sense of solidity and mass adding to the sense of quiet and permanence.
The heated, mineral pool features sweeping internal steps and a shallow beach that allows users to lie in the warm shallow water.
The five-bay daybed with soft waterproof upholstery, a backrest inclined at just the right angle and shading black awning above, allows guests to look out over the pool to the lush landscape gardens that embrace it. Small tables and billowing curtains separate the individual daybeds. And low walls, planters, bench seats and loungers provide many discrete and individual places to enjoy the sun and water.
The pool is sunken down below the level of the units nearby and is screened by lush planting and a grey hardwood timber screen so guests feel enclosed and private within the pool area.
A custom black timber outdoor shower is privately located within the circular garden beds surrounding the pool – another twist on the norm.
The pool is oriented to capture plentiful northern Byron sun and two magnificent Tuckeroos along with new plantings, provide pockets of shade to be enjoyed in the hotter months. Established trees up to 5m in height were craned in to add to the lush pool gardens and include Cabbage Palms, Llillipillies, Cordylines and Rhapis Palms.
A black timber-clad pool amenities building, featuring 2 toilets/ change rooms, is located discretely behind towering palms and tropical foliage. It continues the projects commitment to design quality and bold detailing that is a hallmark of The Bower.
As architect for the project it has been exciting to be involved in a project where the clients have the vision, dedication and foresight to continue their commitment to quality design and invention. The craftsmanship from the builders and pool contractor and the beauty of the tropical gardens is a credit to the trades that created them.”
Come and see for yourself what dedication to thoughtful, clever and creative design can produce. We’ve done it with you in mind.