This is a spectacular & very exotic 100 cubic meter swimming pool with 5 fountains, 2 waterfalls, the only known underwater room in a swimming pool in all Asia, a beautiful tiled bridge, 2 natural solar water heaters, many huge boulders from the mountains of North Thailand, various statues of Thai Gods & Angels in a beautiful tropical foliage setting ,ocated  @ Big Gym City,Udon Thani, Thailand (& admired by all visitors) 


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #1: ORIGINAL BASIC DESIGN OF ASIA'S MOST EXOTIC 100 CUBIC METER SWIMMING POOL (this design was slightly modified & updated several times as construction progressed) .... There are also various adjoining features (such as the Exotic Spa [the design of which will be added here in due course]) .... This design & drawing at top  (copyright Steve Dolby) were copied (& laminated) & used by the Thai Tradesmen (& Ladies) during construction  .... Projects such as this are NOT recommended for the "faint hearted" ... because: They  are 1.) Very time consuming .... 2.) Require considerable research ... 3.) & a fair degree of artistic talent ... 4.) & several  bags of money ... 5.) They also require very skilled tradesmen/women & keep the designer (in this case me) awake at night!



EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #2: Thai Tradesmen (L to R: Koon Boon 1, Koon Wai, Koon Song & Koon Jit) being 4 of the 15 guys & gals that worked on this rare & unusual constrution project during the early stages (see also "Who Built Big Gym City")


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #3: SWIMMING POOL WALL CONSTRUCTION IS NOT FROM CEMENT BLOCKS (these walls  are sat on the outside of the ring & cross beams (which you can see the cross section of in the "Basic Design" at top) & are used to retain the earth excavation (the blocks are still reinforced with horizontal & vertical 12 mm HT steel internally, then top filled with waterproof concrete mix, then 6 inch square wire mesh is dropped behind the block walls & filled with concrete BUT tricky sections such as this 6 meter high 12 inch column require a "built in" structual support column sitting ON the below floor level ring bean .... & do not forget that we have not yet got to the actual pool walls. 


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUTION PHOTO #4: DURING THIS DELICATE EXCAVATION & SUPPORT STAGE existing structures (such as 3 & 6 meter 12 inch Roman Columns have to be inovatively & skiullfuly supported VERY carefully (& with lots of chains & steel posts) .... Actually we found that this house was built VERY stongly (with massive foundations & much stronger than most contractors build more recent homes in Thailand now ... which are often built with low quality breeze blocks [which crumble after about 2 years]) .... This house must have originalybeen built for a wealthy owner (perhaps because of it's strategic position)because it was/is built entirely of rock hard red bricks which are VERY difficult to drill into & the footings of the actual house were quite HUGE.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #5 showing the outer 4 inch reinforced & concrete filled (& back filled with 6x6" wire mesh reinforced conrete) block wall, which is the outer "form" for the true solid concrete walls from which they will be held at the correct spacing with quarter inch threaded rod "Ties" sticking out of them to hold the inner 20mm plywood formwork in place (when the true walls are poured) .... The underfloor pool plumbing has been installed & checked & a plastic sheet laid on which the "chairs" for the floor steel is being laid out .... This is the shallow end so the floor steel is 2 layer *staggered @ 9" centers with a 7" high tensile waterproof concrete mix coming by premix 5 cubic meter trucks .... You will also notice the steel 2"x4" walkways & concrete shutes to reach far corners.... Note the wall "starter" steel protrudind from the under pool floor ringbeam afainst the block outer form.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #6: Showing the 2"x4" framed  20mm oil paint coated (for release) shuttering plywood (with small holes for the threaded rod ties) being installed over the 2 layer 12mm high tensile wall steel @ 6" staggered centers which originate inside the under floor ring & cross beams.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #7:  Showing the outside form (120cms inside diameter, oil painted on the inside for removal later) of the "Piers"(or in pool columns) .... These 2 piers are designed into the pool because .... 1.) They reinforce & add strength to the longest straight side wall of the pool (14m) & .... 2.) They provide an artistic base for the 2 poolside balconies & .... 3.) They house the "test bores" (of 8" inside diameter concrete drainage pipes) which go straight down 4 meters & are used to check ground water levels when the pool is empty (to be aware of "popout" pressure danger) .... The inside form of these 2 piers are 90cm outside diameter septic tank concete  castings drilled for threaded ties .... These inner forms are not oil painted & will NOT be removed after the structual concrete is poured).... Note how trhe the 3 lvels are held "true" & correctly sp[aced from the inner forms.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8 Upper Ring Beam Steelwork (to stop pool rim distortion when  full) .... The top of the concrete filled blocks can be seen mid photo with the vertical 12mm high tensile bars bent over to join the floor steel coming out of the blocks .... The oil painted 20mm shuttering plywood is still to be firred vertically outside the steel on the right side of this photo .... The horizontal corner high tensile steel is 20mm diameter(right bottom corner of photo)


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #9 The floor is already poured & was covered for a week with damp sacks to promote even curing ....  & now the support framework for the pool walls is in place (it is 1" x 1"x.2.5mm wall box steel & can be reused for railings, fences & gates when removed) .... There are temporary shuttering plywood sheets (20mm) on top to permit easy access (with concrete shutes & buckets) during the "pour" of the walls.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #10 This is an interesting photo which shows the simple equipments (designed by Steve) used to chennel the huge volume of high tensile waterproof mixed concrete which will flow to the furthest coirners (about 20 meters away) of the "no truck side access" pool walls .... On the right of the photo can be seen the adjustable height "bin" into which the concrete truck shute will pour the concrete mix ( there is a grey plywood "stop flow" board just visible sticking out of the bin .... Underneath the outlet of the bin (not visible) is the 10inch (cut in half longitudinaly) heavy PVC water/drainage pipe which is secured in place (on top of the adjustable height stands (made from box steel) .... Lying in the half section PVC concrete channel is one of the push/pull tools ( a round 2mm steel plate [the same size as the inside of the PVC] with a 1 or 2 meter steel handle on it) .... This is used to encourage the concrete nix along if it is not flowing by itself .,... This system worked very well & the enrire pool walls were poured (& vibrated) in one day.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #11 This photo shows the main pool steps (not tiled yet) with pool lights (12 volts DC) wiring in showing .... Some of the mosaic tile work is underway on columns & walls (see "Who built Big Gym City" for some of the very talented Thai workers) & the "coaming" pool rim blocks are already in place around the edges .... The 2 elephants & stone trees (with fountain plumbing inside) are already in place supporting the steel dragon (Guardian of the Dragon Pool) .... The ceiling of this roof has a 48"  fan set into it (behind the gold painted steel mesh panel) .... Also note the recessed ceiling lights which shine down into the pool water.


EXOTIC POOL CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #12 .... This photo shows one of the 4 underwater lights installed on a tricky mounting surface ( a rounded tiled column).... The light is recessed into the column & of course the 12 volt DC wiring runs thru a PVC plastic water pipe (which is then sealed just inside the column with silicone) to the pump room.... The surface of the light (which is about 10 inches in diameter) is about flush with the surface of the column BUT a recessed stainless stewel rim is installed to afford some protection from accidental bumps. .... The red crosses in the mosaic tile design is to warn underwater swimmers of the column's position.



Much later underwater lights (12v) installed ON a pool column INSIDE a stainless steel frame (to prevent damage).


NORTH SIDE MAIN STEPS TO THE DRAGON POOL (Construction Stage 9 of 10 ) .... Pool lights are now wired in & tested (12 volts DC naturally) .... Don't forget your non slip steps if you ever build a pool .... We don't want Grandad having an accident now do we!)


 POOLSIDE PAVILLION (Construction Stage 3 of 10)



POOLSIDE PAVILLION (Construction Stage 8 of 10)


POOLSIDE PAVILION ( Construction Stage 9 of 10 )










Steve Dolby @ Chiang Mai University Xmas 2009 (only modestly skilled designer & builder of this pool)