News

14.12.2017

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE BIOTOP DESIGN FROG PRINCE AWARDS 2017

As usual, the most important and exciting BIOTOP competition took place during the annual Partner event in Rotterdam.
The 32 companies who had submitted their projects were already very curious as to which frog would garner the most votes and be crowned the prince this year. But first, twelve finalists had to be nominated from the total number of submissions, and only nine of these finalists would eventually take the top three places in the categories Natural Pool, Living-Pool and Conversion & Refurbishment. And of course, only one project could ultimately be the winner in each category.

The jury of internationally renowned architects and landscapers did not have an easy time deciding on the nominees this year. The submitted projects were evaluated based on the criteria of originality, design quality, technical implementation and overall atmospheric impression. The lucky winners this year are BIOTOP Partners from Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria.

WINNERS IN THE CATEGORY: LIVING-POOL

1st place

freiraum* Gartenarchitektur GmbH (Austria)
The client, founder of a successful start-up, had very specific architectural requirements concerning the Living-Pool. Hence the client, architect, pre-fab pool builder and freiraum* sat down together to create a design that would provide true holiday atmosphere. The love for detail went so far that the blue lounge furniture had to perfectly match the colour of the pool water. The following elements were integrated:
- Pre-fabricated pool basin
- Free-hanging stairs projecting into the pool from the wall
- “Floating” concrete platforms in the shallow water area
- Water inlet nozzles and lights completely flush with the pool walls
- Large sanded concrete slabs
- Wooden deck made of IPE
- Overflow basin made of PP with overflow channel (hidden from view under pebbles)
- Splash water reservoir under concrete slabs
- Automatic water feed via reverse osmosis system

2nd place

Garten Wammes (Austria)
Garten Wammes was able to realize this Living-Pool in Sautens at the entry to the Ötztal valley this year. One noteworthy particularity of the facility is the 10-metre-long and 60-cm-high glass panel.
An air/water heat pump maintains a water temperature of 28° C from March to November, allowing the Living-Pool to be used almost year-round. An under-deck rolling cover prevents the water from cooling off in low outside temperatures.

3rd place

Koninklijke Ginkel Groep (The Netherlands)
The architects created a Living-Pool in an existing meadow for a client who wanted a very traditional design—classic like the architecture of the house and the formal design of the garden, which was created in the early 1900s. Our client, the new owner of the house, wanted an update and a nice swimming pool in the garden. And because she wanted a sustainable natural pool, she chose BIOTOP.
Thanks to the installation of a heat pump and a solar cover, the water temperature can easily be maintained at around 25 degrees. As a special feature, we installed a swimmer protection system that prevent small children from drowning: Sensors are placed around the pool that produce a loud noise in case of an emergency. A splendid innovation, and it keeps the children safe!

4th place (only nominated)

Garten Wammes (Austria)
This unique Living-Pool was built in Oberperfuss in 2014. It was planned in cooperation with architecture firm Tatanka, with whom Garten Wammes had already constructed three other Living-Pools.
The client wanted the pool built with plenty of space for flora and fauna, and we realized this intimate connection to nature with a 10 m² plant filter and a 5 m² regeneration area.
This makes the Living-Pool a year-round eyecatcher in the garden.

WINNERS IN THE CATEGORY: NATURAL POOL

1st place

Watelle BVBA (Belgium)
This organic natural pool and matching perennial plant zone fit perfectly into this landscape garden. The pool is visible from the house, allowing the owners to enjoy its natural beauty all year long.
An abundant and strongly blooming planting that attracts birds, bees and butterflies was chosen both in and around the pool, thereby creating ecological biodiversity.

2nd place

freiraum* Gartenarchitektur GmbH (Austria)
Natural Pool with smart details.
A Natural Pool was integrated into this redesigned farmhouse-style garden as its central element. With its many design details like the fountain, the “floating” platforms across the water’s surface and the scenic lighting, this pool meets all the clients’ requirements regarding their outdoor recreation area. Besides the Natural Pool, the following elements were integrated into the garden:
- Stainless steel “freiraum*” shower
- Light post made of corten steel
- Wooden deck made of IPE
- Pool framed with antique granite paving
- Dry wall made of Stainz Gneis
- Corten steel wood storage rack
- Garden house with larch siding
- Planted with grasses and shrubs
- Catalpa tree to protect swimmers from view

3rd place

Potsdamer Garten Gestaltung GmbH (Germany)
The clients’ wish was to create a harmonious union between their newly built home and a Natural Pool continuing the modern style of the house, combining the indoor and outdoor areas into an integrated living space. A sunny garden area between the main house and the coach house holding the sauna and wellness area became the location for the new pool, and its form was determined by the buildings. Simple shapes and straight lines were chosen for the swimming and regeneration areas so as not to contrast too sharply with the buildings. In this way, all three elements—the main house, coach house and Natural Pool—became a unit. The light effects produced by the sun and clouds are reflected off the surface of the water into the interior living area: A perfect balance of intimate usability and representative space.

4th place (only nominated)

Roth Gärtner von Eden (Germany)
A dream came true for a family with two daughters. Directly outside their house with its glass façade, we built a three-level Natural Pool. The clients wanted to be able to hear the water and have water lilies blooming in a separate basin. The large new wooden deck covers all the equipment and creates an inviting place to pass the time by the water. In the evenings, the water reflects off the glass façade and the stainless-steel basin lip.

WINNERS IN THE CATEGORY: Conversion & Refurbishment

1st place

GEONET (Belgium)
The BIOTOP Partner was commissioned to transform an old chlorine pool into a Living-Pool. The garden had to be redesigned and a new terrace and pool house constructed.
The pool is equipped with brand-new piping, a new staircase and a new liner. A mineral filter was also installed. The terrace and pool, which provides a spectacular view of the surroundings, were framed with 1-by-1-metre white concrete slabs to give the facility a modern look.

2nd place

Fuchs baut Gärten GmbH (Germany)
The existing Natural Pool in the tree park (show garden) of the Lorenz von Ehren tree nursery on the premises of Eisl company in Gilching was renovated by Fuchs baut Gärten. The photos were made during the opening event.

3rd place

freiraum* Gartenarchitektur GmbH (Austria)
“In Living-Pool we trust”
After a 14-month period of suffering, with two expert opinions and a court trial, this genial family from Wieselburg decided to place their trust in another pool supplier—specifically in freiraum* as a new BIOTOP Partner. The company had previously built only a single Living-Pool at the time. The clients’ catastrophe of a construction site was soon transformed into an oasis of pleasure, and the clients themselves immediately became enthusiastic Living-Pool fans.
The lighting (underwater as well as among the plants and on the wall) provides a relaxing atmosphere for swimming during summer evenings. A miniature biotope with water lilies lies separately to one side of the pool.

4th place (only nominated)

T&P Teich und Pool (Austria)
After many years of operation, this first-generation Living-Pool was ready to be renovated. The aim of the project was to install up-to-date technology, a new liner and new equipment and accessories. The new equipment area was constructed of masonry to allow flexible adaptations to the machinery in future, and an under-deck housing for a ‘Grado’ pool cover was also installed.
The plan is to operate the facility completely independently via a photovoltaic system mounted on the roof of the company building. The refurbishment also included the rebuilding and significant enlargement of the footbridge and deck area.


MORE INFORMATION

1st place - category: Living Pool - company: freiraum* (Austria)
1st place - category: natural pool - company: watelle (Belgium)
1st place - category: Conversion & Refurbishment - company: Geonet


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