The winners of the Biotop Design Frog King Award 2016

The most prestigious prize of the BIOTOP group was once again awarded at the Parkhotel Schönbrunn in Vienna this year. It was a special year, however, as the record total of 36 entries made it the hardest-fought BIOTOP Design Frog Prince competition ever.

The jury of experts consisting of international architects and landscape planners had already nominated four entries in each category. Following five-minute presentations by each of the twelve finalists, the participants in the Partner Event then determined the award winners by vote. The winning projects were executed in Luxembourg, England and Austria.

Winner in the Category „Conversion and Renovation“


A 6-year-old Teichmeister Natural Pool was no longer to the liking of this client of Ulrich Kraft, CEO of my Garden s.à.r.l. The regeneration area was heavily overgrown and the water quality was no longer satisfactory. As the facility is located in the garden of a weekend house with no electrical power, the renovated pond likewise needed to do completely without electricity.
The entire space was cleared, the swimming area moved to catch more sunlight, the regeneration zone enlarged accordingly, and a playing area for the children created.
The clients are extremely happy with the new arrangement and are enjoying their “old-new” Natural Pool to the fullest.

The old Teichmeister Natural Pool prior to the alterations
The extended regeneration zone of the new Natural Pool
The refurbished pool works entirely without electrical appliances

The Nominees:

The mirror pool is the eye-catcher at the centre of this garden. It was built in 1970 with a concrete basin. As this basin had begun to develop leaks and the many surrounding trees were limiting usability, the owner wanted the facility refurbished – albeit without changing the original size of the pool.

Built in 1996, the Natural Pool at Benediktinenhof was beginning to show its age. The liner was very dirty and the regeneration zone heavily overgrown. The first design study envisioned a Living-Pool, but when queried on the subject, the hotel patrons expressed their preference for another Natural Pool.

The clients were no longer happy with their Natural Pool and did not enjoy it any more. It was being swarmed by toads and the effort involved was getting to be too much for the owners. They still wanted water in their garden, however, and hence the idea to build a BIOTOP Living-Pool was born.

Nominee GEONET: A mirror pool becomes this garden’s centerpiece
Nominee FUCHS: A completely renovated elderly Natural Pool
Nominee MY GARDEN: A Natural Pool becomes a Living-Pool


Winner in the Category “Natural Pool”


This Natural Pool was planned and built for a well-known British artist who lives and works in one of the busiest cities in the world. Hence she was looking for a peaceful place to relax and regenerate deep within the forests of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.
The house is located 20 kilometers from the nearest neighbour and offers a breathtaking view over the Welsh valleys. The client wanted her Natural Pool built on the site of a former quarry at the edge of her property, where she would be able to swim under the stars.
The water for the pool comes from a very clean spring in the nearby mountains which also supplies the house.

The Natural Pool in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales
The Natural Pool, ideally integrated into the landscape
The spectacular view across the Welsh valleys from the new facility

The Nominees:

A wellness garden located above Würzburg invites its users to relax and enjoy. The 130 sq. m. BIOTOP Natural Pool forms the centrepiece of the garden, which also includes a Koi pond, a sauna and wellness house, an arbor with seating, a large lawn area for playing, and extensive shrubbery planting.

At the centre of the garden, a Natural Pool with a beautiful swimming area and a filter zone was constructed that ideally integrates with the existing garden concept. The skirting made of red bricks also matches the brick façade of the former farmhouse.

At the edge of a village in the Nordheide, this Natural Pool was harmoniously integrated into the ensemble of a lovingly restored farmyard. A sun deck, bath house, sauna and a special wood-heatable terrace pool for the winter months provide perfect recreation year-round.

Nominee JOHN: Wellness garden with Natural Pool
Nominee GEONET: Natural Pool with red brick skirting
Nominee WREDE: A Natural Pool in a natural environment


Winner in the category “Living Pool”


The facility is located in the middle of the city of Salzburg, on a hill known as Gaisberg. With a view towards Hohensalzburg fortress, the location is in one of the prime areas of the city.
The construction site was accessible only through a 2-meter-high garage; all materials and excavated earth had to be moved through this small opening.
The combination of large ceramic slabs, exposed concrete, wood, and the natural colour of the pool water creates a unique atmosphere in the garden. The Living-Pool is accessible from the house via a set of steps paralleled by waterfalls. Swimmers are thus accompanied by water on their way from the house to the pool. The overflow ledge provides a spectacular view over Salzburg, making swimming all the more enjoyable. The steps leading into the pool are made of the same material as the outside patio, and the planted grasses create a natural divider between the terrace and swimming areas.

The Living-Pool in the centre of Salzburg
Formidable height difference between pool edge and garden
The unpretentious planting emphasises the facility’s style

The Nominees:

A Living-Pool with a comfortable sitting area and a relaxing water cascade. The swimming area was built with stone slabs and a grey liner that adds a warm hue to the clear water.

A handicapped accessible facility for a paraplegic, wheelchair-bound client: The new design was fully adapted to the owner’s disability, including a pool lift. The Living-Pool can be heated and thus used year-round.

In this very crowded row house garden, the client – a passionate swimmer – wanted a pool with a length of precisely 12.5 metres in order to easily calculate his total swimming distance. The handsomely designed sun deck and attractive shrubbery round off this project.

Nominee TUINEN BROUCKAERT: Living-Pool with water cascade
Nominee SCHLEITZER: A fully handicapped accessible facility
Nominee JOHN: A Living-Pool for the passionate swimmer

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