Hydrotherapy Pool, Bristol

Structural Timber Awards 2016 – John James Building at Claremont SEN School – Shortlisted

The Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in the John James Building at Claremont School was shortlisted in the Architect category of the  Structural Timber Awards 2016.


We are proud to have designed the John James/Starfish Pool, a stand-alone hydrotherapy pool at Claremont Secondary SEN School, for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) in Redland, Bristol.


A calming spa atmosphere throughout the building emphasises the pupils’ maturity. We designed an intricate lattice of glue-laminated timber beams, that are suspended above clerestory glazing to all sides of the pool. These beams catch the animated sunlight reflecting off the rippling water below. This provides an extra layer of calm and intrigue to those using the pool below.


The hydrotherapy pool provides many disabled people with their first pain-free experiences. The mix of near-weightlessness and warming air and water allow the pupils to move more freely and perform more intensive exercises, which can encourage new types of movement that can transfer to their everyday lives.