Devising an approach to the application of fields of glass tile to complex surfaces is never simple, but when your goal is to do so while minimizing cuts and eliminating any visual “tics” that might stand out like sore thumbs when the work is done? That’s taking the work to a whole different level.
The project under discussion here, built in Gilbert, Ariz., offered this sort of challenge twice – once in a large entryway waterfeature, and again in the backyard with an outsized
By Brian Van Bower
When the owner of this spec house wanted something truly unique, the design prepared by Brian Van Bower met the mark on all levels, creating an elongated waterfront jewel that perfectly complements a stylish home.
The fun thing about working on spec houses is that, every once in a while, you run into a client who truly wants to blow the doors off – in the best way possible, of course.
That was certainly true here: The home is right on the water on one of the islands in Biscayne Bay where Miami’s elite prefer to live, and the eventual asking price for the property was in the $26 million range, give or take. It’s an area where few
By Paolo Benedetti
In recent years, it’s been difficult to avoid two large and related discussions about water treatment as it relates to swimming pools and spas.
One the one hand are discussions of the evils of chlorine, which, after more than a century of common and beneficial use, is still widely misunderstood by homeowners and many professionals in the watershaping trades. On the other are conversations about chlorine-free pools and spas – another set of exchanges where there’s proving to be
This is the story of a project where I’m still not sure which was tested more – my creativity or my patience.
It was one of the first design tasks I tackled after moving to Katy, Texas, in 2009. In retrospect, it may not have been the ideal time to relocate: The full force of the Great Recession wasn’t clear at that point; I had a job but no direct way to bank on the good reputation I’d built where
By Mike Farley
I’m a big fan of beach entries: As I see it, they wrap at least five important design and usage issues up in one neat package.
First, they provide easy access to the pool. Second, that access is gradual, which many bathers prefer. Third, they bring a bit of visual drama to the water’s edge – and then repeat it where the slope breaks off into deeper water. Fourth, they create an easy
By Mark Holden
‘Through the past two years,’ wrote Mark Holden to start his January/February 2011 Currents column in WaterShapes, ‘a handful of voices in this magazine and elsewhere have called for building pools without drains as a means of virtually eliminating suction-entrapment incidents. The response to this suggestion has been strong, both for and against.’
‘In sifting through some of these discussions . . . one item caught my
Through the years, I’ve come across all sorts of clients with unique motivations and interesting available spaces. My task in collaborating with each of them centers on carefully evaluating the situation, sorting through various sets of possibilities and, ultimately, delivering a design that hits the mark on all possible levels.
This project, however, was a bit different from most: The client had acquired
WaterShapes recently published a pair of my articles on techniques for filling newly plastered swimming pools with water and starting them on the path to a long, successful service life.
In the second of those articles (click here), the focus was on the bicarb start-up method and the effect this approach has on the establishment of a durable plaster, pebble or quartz finish. But rather than being a step-by-step description of how the bicarb start-up works on site, the article was about
Every once in a while, the stars align and we’re given the opportunity to pursue and attain perfection in applying glass tile to a beautifully designed and built swimming pool and spa. The project illustrated here is one such case: Everything about it just snapped into place.
First, we were asked to join the design team at an early stage, so we had a good level of input on how the pool was to be laid out and its interior surfaces formed; second, the watershapes fit
By David Tisherman
‘A big part of properly designing watershapes to meet specific client needs has to do with understanding how they’ll be using the body of water,’ wrote David Tisherman at the start of his Details column in January 2006.
‘I always explore this issue with my clients, which is why, for
By Paolo Benedetti
A designer's responsibility for the look of a project doesn't vanish when a client has special needs when it comes to access to the water, writes Paolo Benedetti. Here, he runs through some options that ease the way while pleasing the eye.
Designing swimming pools and spas for people with disabilities is a special calling for watershapers: The process gets you involved with sets of capabilities and physical limitations that force you to think beyond the usual; it also puts you in gut-level contact with the needs of those who crave involvement with water and its potential to ease pain, make aquatic exercise possible and, via simple buoyancy, make gravity less of
In the course of my career, I’ve worked with blue-chip clients from rock stars and professional athletes to Hollywood celebrities and business tycoons. It may be my sparkling personality, but, realistically, I think it has more to do with the way I have with glass tile and custom mosaics associated with beautiful swimming pools.
My company, Rock Solid Tile of Calabasas, Calif., has worked all over Los Angeles through the years, taking its
Rooftop pools and other similarly elevated swimming pool structures present unique sets of considerations that must be thoroughly addressed by anyone involved in their design and construction.
As was discussed in the first article in this two-part series (“Elevated Engineering,” click here), it is common for these watershapes to be constructed inside a concrete vault or supported on a concrete structural slab – either of which is usually