Exterior space can expand a house. This obviously occurs physically, but is also linked to design and material choices. Pools are often seen as just such an extension to a home, a space for relaxing and spending time in which the water contrasts beautifully with the plants and lawn. The choice of materials for pool areas must combine aesthetic considerations with functional requirements - durability, and ease of cleaning and maintenance - while also being non-slip. The physical and technical properties of tiles are an excellent option, helping to connect the areas around the pool with the house or the surrounding nature. The villa designed by Creative Space Architectural Design in Tauranga, New Zealand, is an example of integration and continuity between indoors and outdoors. The building is composed of different blocks in which the pool plays an important role in the overall articulation of volumes. This pool is above-ground, emerging from the house like an extension of it. The retaining walls for the pool are clad in Oxide slabs by Laminam, with a Perla finish. These were also used for the lower volumes of the villa, becoming the stylistic key to the complex. Physical and visual continuity between the home and the exterior is the defining feature of a private villa created by Dep Studio in Franciacorta in northern Italy. On the ground floor, the glazing creates a direct visual connection between the living area and the pool. The floor around the pool is paved with Walks/1.0 slabs by Floor Gres, in White, creating a continuous surface that reaches right to the water’s edge. In Piccoli Residence, designed by Justin Quinlan of Archengine Architects in Griffith, Australia, the pool washes against the outer walls of the house, making the link particularly direct. The sizeable paved area around the pool connects the various volumes that make up the villa. Pietre di Sardegna tiles by Casalgrande Padana were chosen, in the Porto Rotondo hue. The same Pietre di Sardegna collection, but in other colors, was used to clad the interior, adding material unity to the design. In Lyon, the design by Cabinet Architecte Fleury for Villa Lyon used porcelain stoneware in a Sunrock effect by Atlas Concorde to pave the large external areas. More specifically, Sunrock Travertino White, in the textured version, wraps around the pool, creating continuity with the shaded area in front of the villa. The same type of tiles was used for the walkways, steps and the outdoor shower area, creating practical, safe floors. On the rolling Tuscan hills, between Volterra and San Gimignano, the design by Daniela Berlingozzi for an agritourism complex included renovating old out buildings, integrating the original materials with new material finishings. The olive grove area has a deck-level pool that is discreetly integrated into the landscape through the use of Habita Rovere tiles by Coem in colors that mirror the natural hues of the surrounds. The deck-level edge and the interior of the pool are clad in Travertino Romano Scanalato Silver porcelain stoneware, which has an irregular surface that recalls the imperfections of natural stone. The complete renovation of a house in the heart of Orléans included the creation of a large garden with a pool that has a movable base so it can be completely closed in winter during the months when not in use. As such, the actual pool and the surrounding paving become a large paved extension in winter. Buxy Flammé tiles by Cotto d’Este were chosen as they combine a natural stone look with the lightness of tiles, ensuring the movable base was not excessively heavy. The pool walls are clad in Kerlite, which combines lightness with the structural requirements of a pool. These slabs are also large and easy to clean, facilitating maintenance.
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