Slideshow: ‘80s Home Addition Gets a Knockout Makeover

The 1980s have become virtually synonymous with regrettable design choices. To one Philadelphia home, the decade brought a poorly insulated atrium addition overwhelmed by a tiny fiberglass pool. Thanks to Rasmussen/Su Architects and Endless Pools®, the old addition has now gone the way of pastel wallpaper and popcorn ceilings.

Endless Pools swimming machine in a renovated atrium
Contemporary Pool by Philadelphia Architects & Building Designers Rasmussen / Su Architects

The designers at Rasmussen/Su, a Philadelphia-based firm, had their work cut out for them. The atrium was a critical part of this Logan Square home – it served as the sole link between two previously separated row homes. So in addition to being badly designed and unattractive, it was unavoidable! The firm’s solutions were inspired.

First, they replaced the small plunge pool with an Endless Pool. With our adjustable current, the compact installation now offers swimming and fitness options. The Endless Pool’s eco-friendly water purification and heating perfectly suited the overall vision of the LEED-accredited design firm.

The architects also unified the surroundings. Once a clutter of white walls, ceiling blinds, and both floor tile and decking, the atrium now boasts a warm, rustic look thanks to reclaimed wormy chestnut planks on all surfaces.

A ‘living wall,’ or vertical garden, makes for another thoughtful element. The greenery welcomes any splashing from the clear, low-chlorine water of the pool below. And while Endless Pools’ secure, retractable cover greatly controls humidity, the ferns and vines appreciate what little water evaporates when the pool is in use.

Across from the living wall, large windows have replaced the old room’s stained-glass panels. By opening the space into the newly built family room, the windows create an airy feeling that was sorely lacking when the heavily ornate stained glass bordered the narrow atrium.

So gone is the dated look of a limited-use poolroom that was cold in winter, hot in summer. We wish the young homeowners all the best with their lovely and functional new atrium!

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