Shanghai’s First Underwater Hotel

This month we are inspired by the Intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland, the first hotel to include two floors fully submerged beneath the water of a decommissioned quarry, nestled in the Sheshan Mountain Range. With breath taking views of the waterfalls and surrounding cliffs this hotel is set to be a one of a kind.

Guests to the intercontinental Shanghai Wonderland will sleep 88-meters below ground in the world’s first underground hotel, the underwater suites feature an in-room aquarium where guests can admire shoals of fish pasting by.

To construct this phenomenal hotel, its design team filed 39 different patents, and worked with a vast team of architects, designers and engineers. It’s taken over a decade to complete and with that the engineers faced unique challenges whilst building on the once abandoned quarry which required innovative engineering solutions.

We admire the precise engineering to create this hotel, as we are often faced with challenges when designing and building our unique projects. However, with the help of our in-house designers and project managers we are able to offer bespoke solutions based on precise design calculations to deliver the desired outcome.

If you would like to learn more about the design and consultancy services we offer please contact us. We specialise in bespoke pools across the UK, as well as many swimming pool projects in London.

 

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, stands at a mind-blowing 829.8 metres, dominating Dubai’s skyline. The overall construction of this magnificent building took a little over five years to complete. Due to its unique bundled tube design, the building contains half the amount of steel than the Empire State Building does, even though its more than twice its size. Amazingly, the spire itself contains 4000 tonnes of steel.

 

The design, style and build of the Burj Khalifa along with the stunning location makes the Burj Khalifa one of the most popular buildings in the world. The inspiration we took from this building is the material they used, steel.

 

Here at Aqua Platinum, we believe that the structure of a pool is one of the most intricate parts of the build and building with stainless steel gives the feeling of pure luxury. Stainless steel is a prestigious product and using it in our projects gives our clients a true feeling of elegance. We take pride in every project ensuring we always use the highest quality products.

 

Another important factor why we use stainless steel in our swimming pools is known for its corrosion resistance in many environments in which carbon and low alloy tool steels would corrode. The corrosion resistance is a result of a very thin oxide layer on the steel’s surface; this is formed due to there being a presence of chromium in the metal which once in contact with oxygen forms the passive layer on the surface of the material.

 

If you are looking to add your swimming pool to your home, then contact us today to discuss your needs and requirements. Call us on 01489 896 438 or fill in our online form to begin designing your dream feature, pool or spa.

 

 

World Trade Centre Fountains

The World Trade Centre memorial is dedicated to the victims who lost their lives on 9/11 – the memorial was opened in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the attack.

 

Michael Arad is the architect behind the memorial. With him being unable to imagine anything being built on the site again, Arad said he sought solace along the Hudson River. He told his audience, he imagined “two voids tearing open a surface of water and the river failing to fill it up.”

 

Visitors to the memorial are greeted by sound of water cascading at a rate of 24,000 gallons per minute, 30 feet down into twin reflecting pools set in the footprints of the twin towers. The fountains plant room include some of the largest pumps, filters and UV dosing system. It also has a high-tech heating system to prevent the fountains from freezing in the winter.

 

The waterproofing took special consideration as the fountains needed to withstand the constant immersion of the water. Once in service, waterproofing material was added as a permanent barrier to water and resistant to chemicals used in the foundation.

 

Michael Arad’s design includes the names of those who died in the attacks and the recovery efforts inscribed on bronze panels in the plaza overlooking the pools. Michael explained ‘’You can see each strand of water as it goes over the edge of the weir, appearing as separate, individual streams as it falls. By the time it reaches the end, the clarity dissipates, and it becomes a woven tapestry of water. I think it speaks to individual and collective loss – bringing together many lives into one.’’

 

At Aqua Platinum, we believe that water will always inspire individuals in different ways. Every swimming pool that we design and build is entirely unique to our client’s relationships and experience with water. It is our job to interpret the brief and deliver stunning projects to exceed these expectations.

 

If you are looking to add your unique feature to your home, then contact us today to discuss your needs and requirements. Call us on 01489 896 438 or fill in our online form to begin designing your dream feature, pool or spa.

Sea, Anantara Kihavah Villas Maldives

The Maldives is one of the world’s most desired locations, with its tranquil blue seas, private islands and mesmerising fish swimming happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a holiday of a lifetime.

 

One of the wonders of the Maldives is the new underwater restaurant at the Anantara Kihavah Villa Resorts, part of the quartet of Anantara’s signature restaurants; the Sea, Fire, Salt and Sky dining complexes. The Sea restaurant has a very unique location as it is placed on the ocean floor; Sea is a magical experience with 360-degree views of passing fish, turtles, and even sharks.

 

With only a few underwater restaurant globally, this restaurant offers a dining experience like no other – not only because of the fascinating views but also due to their international gourmet food and wine menus.

 

Here at Aqua Platinum, we are truly fascinated by the design of such a unique restaurant under the sea. Ed Poole from one of the world’s best Design Agency, Poole Associates, which is based in Singapore, designed the interior as well as the resort’s food and beverage outlets, the library and reception building.

 

The restaurant, Sea, was first constructed on a nearby island and was then wielded to a barge which was floated to the end location. On the 26th of October 2010, the air which enabled it to float was replaced with sand causing the restaurant to sink to the ocean floor. It was then aligned over pre-constructed piles and anchored into the reef.

 

The octagonal shaped underwater wine cellar and restaurant was designed to explore the spectacular underwater views in a rare setting. The clever design of the restaurant gives the illusion to diners that they are part of the surrounding reef, due to the acrylic windows being set lower than the dining tables and extended past the guests’ peripheral vision. The room is finished with mirrored celling and pillars which create mind-blowing results to ensure diners have an unforgettable underwater dining experience.

The Amangiri

Resorts within the Aman Group really live up to their name. With Hindu and Arabic translation meaning “peace, security, shelter and protection”, they all offer luxury, seclusion and a first-class experience that are arguably unrivalled anywhere else on the planet.

 

One that has particularly stood out for us this month is a remote hideaway in the Canyon Point of Utah, USA; The Amangiri. The resort sits on an eroded cliff-curve offering sweeping views of a beautiful, yet wild and windswept landscape surrounding Utah’s Lake Powell.

 

The hotel offers luxury suites that have secluded private pools and a stunning room layouts offering luxury and flexibility, whilst using materials that work so well with the natural surroundings. As expected the facilities at the hotel also come complete with spas including steam rooms, saunas and spa pools and of course a swimming pool.

 

The entire resort is built around a central swimming pool making it the main focal point for its guests. The heated pool curves around an escarpment of a 165-million-year-old Aeolian sandstone rock; ensuring the resort blends seamlessly into its breathtaking desert surroundings.

 

The pool and resort itself is a collaboration between three architects: Marwan Al-Sayed, Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy who used a mixture of local sand and cement to closely match the colour and density of the surrounding geological formations.

 

Do you have your perfect swimming pool in mind? Contact us today to make your dream pool a reality; we will work with you from start to finish making sure your pool is exactly to your needs and requirements.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, set in the Art Deco period, an era defining style which could be seen and enjoyed by all.

For anyone who has watched The Great Gatsby will notice that throughout the film there is a huge significance placed upon, and occurrence of water. From the bay where Gatsby’s house is, Gatsby sailing, the rain when Gatsby and Daisy are reunited and also at Gatsby’s funeral, and of course the round pool in the famous scene Gatsby dies in.

Water plays a great part in Gatsby and Daisy’s love story, to symbolize many things such as baptism – the cleansing of all wrong doings, purification, the renewal of love and the inevitable separation. By using water this way this enables the viewers to gain more depth and understanding for the characters involved in the love story.

The true source of inspiration from this piece though is the circular pool seen throughout the film that is symbolic for so many reasons including that every Saturday night an extravagant party is thrown, accommodated by Gatsby but rarely ever attended by. Although portraying himself in a puzzling way to his party goers – Gatsby’s lifestyle and wild parties are merely all part of an image he wishes to project, an image that catches up with him in one of the final scenes.

“‘Don’t do it today,’ Gatsby answered. ‘You know, old sport, I’ve never used that pool all summer”

Gatsby converses with his gardener about emptying the pool ready for winter, symbolic meaning of letting go of love, the image and the dream. Water has been a transformative medium throughout Gatsby’s life and some people believe his death within the pool symbolizes a sort of baptism, cleansing Gatsby’s soul and the renewal of his life after death.

Swimming pools and large bodies of water will always be related to differently by different people and this story goes to show just how water can be used to both portray characters and feelings. Every swimming pool designed and built by Aqua Platinum is entirely unique because each of our clients relates to the pool and associated experience differently. It is our job to interpret the brief and deliver a stunning project to exceed these expectations.

Fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas

This week we are feeling inspired by the iconic Fountains of Bellagio, in Las Vegas. Located within an 8-acre manmade lake in front of the Bellagio Hotel, this stunning water feature
incorporates a beautiful arrangement of water, light and music to create a mesmerising experience for the audience.

Regular performances take place every day and due to the size and scale of the fountain, the performances can be viewed from numerous points along the Vegas strip.

This spectacular show is the most choreographically complex water feature ever created, with each performance being completely unique in expression and interpretation.
This ensures that no matter how many times you have seen the Fountains, they always have something different and exciting to show you.

We are inspired by the incredible engineering required to construct such a masterpiece. The fountains incorporate a complex network of pipes with more
than 1,200 nozzles that make it possible to stage fountain displays coordinated with more than 4,500 lights.

The creators behind this enchanting feature are award winning leisure designers WET Design, their impressive portfolio also includes
The Dubai Fountain, Aquanura Efteling in Netherlands and many of the Olympic installations, as shown in the gallery above.

Design of the Trevi Fountain, Rome

This week we are feeling inspired by the magnificent Trevi Fountain in Rome which was created so many years ago, yet has stood proud against the tests of time and elements in our ever-evolving world. The fountain has been a significant pillar in Rome’s history and is still a very important part of Rome today, inspiring the many people that visit it.

Ancient legends state that in 19 BC thirsty Roman soldiers were guided by a young girl to a source of pure water thirteen kilometres from the city of Rome. This discovery led to the construction of an aqueduct leading into the city, which was named Aqua Virgo, in honour of the legendary young girl. The aqueduct served the hot Baths of Agrippa, and Rome for over four hundred years.

We are inspired by how this this incredibly detailed masterpiece was designed, as the fountain itself is truly astonishing; with the façade and sea reef being created from travertine and the statues all created from carrara marble.

In the middle of the fountain, underneath a tryumphal arch, a majestic and fierce statue of Ocean has been carved by the Italian sculptor Pietro Bracci. In the left part of the arch there is the statue of Abundance, holding the horn of plenty with a toppled vase lying at her feet. Above her there is a relief showing Agrippa commanding his generals to build the acqueduct.

In the right part of the arch there is the statue of Health, crowned by a wreath of laurel and holding a cup that a snake is drinking from. Above her there is a relief showing a Virgin lady indicating to soldiers the source of water.

The four allegorical statues located on the attic were carved by Agostino Corsini, Bernardino Ludovisi, Francesco Queirolo and Bartolomeo Pincellotti. The statues represent the good effects of rain on Earth fertility and the four major produces that depend on water supply. The first statue on the left holds the horn of plenty and is a symbol of the Abundance of fruits. The second one is holding ears of wheat and represents Fertility of Crops. The third one is holding a cup and bunches of grapes symbolising the Products of Autumn. The last one portraits the Joy of Prairies and Gardens and covered with flowers.

The fountain has recently been restored and as part of the re-opening, a remarkable fashion show was held by Italian fashion house Fendi to celebrate their 90th Anniversary. The catwalk was constructed on top of the fountain water; this incredible exhibition has drawn spectators from around the world to witness the beautiful show and the exquisite fountain.

“This city in terms of lights, colour, art inspiration is unique. I believe that’s why Fendi is so keen on keeping its Roman roots which are giving so much energy and inspiration to our creative team,” Pietro Beccari – Fendi Chairman and CEO

David Hockney

David Hockney is an incredibly talented painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer who contributed incredibly to the pop art movement of the 1960s and is now considered one of the most influential and technically gifted British artists of the 20th century.
Hockey has regularly expressed his love of swimming pools and one of Hockney’s most famous masterpiece’s, and our favourite, is ‘The Bigger Splash’ which he originally painted in 1967. Many of Hockney’s creations are inspired by water and the movement within the finished piece, and you can see within ‘The Bigger Splash’ that the calmness of the overall composition contrasts dramatically with the fierce splash of water caused by a diver.
Hockney has voiced his pleasure at taking two weeks to paint a moment that lasted two seconds and in a March 2009 interview, to the question “Who jumped into the pool?” Hockney answers: “I don’t know actually. It was done from a photograph of a splash. That I haven’t taken, but that’s what it’s commenting on. The stillness of an image. Most of the painting was spent on the splash and the splash lasts two seconds and the building is permanent there. That’s what it’s about actually. You have to look in at the details.”

“Water in swimming pools changes its look more than in any other form… its colour can be man-made and its dancing rhythms reflect not only the sky but, because of its transparency, the depth of the water as well. If the water surface is almost still and there is a strong sun, then dancing lines with the colours of the spectrum appear everywhere.”

David Hockney