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5 2 farley video artBy Mike Farley

Safety is never far from my mind as I design for my clients, but as important as it is, it’s seldom the only thing on my mind as a project comes together.

In fact, balancing the need for features we must include for safety’s sake with our everyday passion about never compromising on aesthetics is something I consider with every detail.  Whether it’s the extent to which

The position and basic shape of the pool may have been predetermined, writes Scott Cummings, but the visual drama he added with his finish selections and a perimeter-overflow/vanishing-edge design made all the difference in optimizing the site's cool water-on-water views.
The position and basic shape of the pool may have been predetermined, writes Scott Cummings, but the visual drama he added with his finish selections and a perimeter-overflow/vanishing-edge design made all the difference in optimizing the site's cool water-on-water views.
By Scott Cummings

When we get involved in backyard projects, it’s rare these days that we don’t have a fairly high level of creative control:  We’re the ones who figure out where to place the pool, what shape it should have, how it should be finished and what should surround it with respect to the hardscape and landscaping and even the furnishings. 

That’s why it’s a bit funny that this is the second in a pair of projects we’ve recently published through WaterShapes in which many of the fundamental shots were called by others – in this case by a talented home-construction firm that brought us in after the footprint for the pool and spa had been

Working atop a rocky prominence through a harsh winter on a short schedule? It was enough to make Kurt Kraisinger take a unique approach to the project, drawing support from near and far to get things done -- from extensive site preparation through to on-time completion.
Working atop a rocky prominence through a harsh winter on a short schedule?  It was enough to make Kurt Kraisinger take a unique approach to the project, drawing support from near and far to get things done -- from extensive site preparation through to on-time completion.
By Kurt Kraisinger

It’s strange how things can work out with a project.  

In this instance, we were called in to design the outdoor environment to go with a couple’s weekend/vacation home on the water of Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma.  It was a beautiful, inspiring setting, with the home situated at the end of a peninsula that reached out into the lake, and it quickly became a favorite gathering spot for a couple generations of a fun-loving family.

We developed the design based on a few parameters offered by the clients as well as the nature of the incredible site and the distinctive

This wasn't one of those cases where a popped pool could be coaxed back into place. Instead, Shane LeBlanc had to remove not just one, but two old shells -- and set up a new system while easing any fears city officials might have had about their watershape ever moving again.
This wasn't one of those cases where a popped pool could be coaxed back into place.  Instead, Shane LeBlanc had to remove not just one, but two old shells -- and set up a new system while easing any fears city officials might have had about their watershape ever moving again.
By Shane LeBlanc

There are few things in the world of watershaping as dramatic or devastating as a popped pool.  On their way up out of the ground, they’ll shatter decks and coping, break pipes and conduits and, often, leave cracked shells behind and generally make a terrible mess.  They also lead to one big first question from the owner:  “So can you make it go back down?” 

I’m pleased to report that none of the pools I’ve built has ever risen above its assigned grade, but I live and work in the south, often in areas where

The unique, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home had a lot going for it, but it needed a truly daring addition to reach its full potential. William Drakeley was more than ready to meet the need -- despite a steep slope, a tricky stone ledge and a bold, multi-phase approach to construction.
The unique, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home had a lot going for it, but it needed a truly daring addition to reach its full potential.  William Drakeley was more than ready to meet the need -- despite a steep slope, a tricky stone ledge and a bold, multi-phase approach to construction.
By William Drakeley

The masters of 20th-century residential architecture have a profound influence on design to this day. From Charles and Henry Greene through to Frank Lloyd Wright and on to John Lautner and many others, these giants of design continue to push modern interpreters on to new levels of excellence in concept, form and execution.

Among all of the spectacular houses these architects built, few speak to us with greater energy than Wright’s Fallingwater, a spectacular home he designed in 1935 in Mill Run, Pa. Cantilevered over a stream flowing to a dramatic waterfall, the project has inspired envy among generations of architects and homeowners who’d love to capture even a portion of its special magic in another setting.

This is a tale about one such attempt, a house built about 20 years ago with

12 6 17JC0For years, John Cohen has dedicated himself to meeting the needs of clients averse to using traditional sanitizers.  As he reports in this compilation of three recent articles -- gathered together here for your forwarding convenience -- his quest is all about mirroring natural systems.

 

 

It's not how he usually works, notes Ben Lasseter. But on this occasion, the opportunity to bring someone else's exceptional design to fruition made taking a secondary role the right move -- even with the awkward scheduling, unusual access issues and a few tricky alignments.
It's not how he usually works, notes Ben Lasseter.  But on this occasion, the opportunity to bring someone else's exceptional design to fruition made taking a secondary role the right move -- even with the awkward scheduling, unusual access issues and a few tricky alignments.
By Ben Lasseter

In most of our projects, we do the lion’s share of the work related to our clients’ backyards. We’ll design and build the pool and spa, set up the landscape and take care of all of the components of outdoor living from laying decks to installing outdoor kitchens.

We like having that level of control over exterior environments, and our clients seem to appreciate the single-source service we’re able to provide. Every once in a while, however, we’ll come across a project so outstanding that we’re perfectly happy to join a great team, interpret someone else’s plans and

Perfection in tile application is an attainable goal, writes Jimmy Reed, but as a look inside this magnificent project conveys, achieving that ambition takes time, patience, skill, precision and a day-to-day awareness on site that every last detail can (and will) make all the difference.
Perfection in tile application is an attainable goal, writes Jimmy Reed, but as a look inside this magnificent project conveys, achieving that ambition takes time, patience, skill, precision and a day-to-day awareness on site that every last detail can (and will) make all the difference.
By Jimmy Reed

Many of the projects we work on could best be classified as show-stoppers: big, elaborate installations with undulating surfaces, multiple planes intersecting at odd angles and elaborate mosaic patterns – interior finishes with a level of technical difficulty that makes lots of tile applicators head in the other direction at a rapid clip.

We at Rock Solid Tile (Calabasas, Calif.) enjoy just that sort of technical challenge. It’s why we invest so much time in training, take our work so seriously and keep expanding the range of what we can accomplish for our clients. But truth be told, we occasionally like tackling installations where

 

1 3 18JC0Wrapping up his series on a comprehensive approach to healthier pool water, John Cohen goes into great detail in defining system components and making specific product recommendations.

 

If he ever had any doubts about the value of updating and maintaining his extensive portfolio, writes Kurt Kraisinger, this project and his clients' desire to weigh every possibility put them to rest -- with beautiful results.
If he ever had any doubts about the value of updating and maintaining his extensive portfolio, writes Kurt Kraisinger, this project and his clients' desire to weigh every possibility put them to rest -- with beautiful results.
By Kurt Kraisinger

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of this project, that old truism was right on the mark.

From the start, what my clients seemed to want most was to look at every image I could muster and ask questions and make comments about each one. And it worked: Through their words and body language during these sessions, they offered me almost all of the information I had to have to deliver precisely what they wanted.

And that was great, because when I

 

1 3 farley vdeo artBy Mike Farley

For the past ten years or so, high-end designers and builders have focused extensively on hiding things that disrupt a viewer’s visual pleasure or violate the clean lines and sleek surfaces they’ve lavished on their watershapes.

This may be why you see so few diving boards and slides these days. It may also be a contributing factor in the speed

 

Tireless in his quest for information about and approaches to the creation of toxin-free pools and spas, John Cohen has spent years weighing observations of nature and the human body and figuring out ways to use what he's learned to help people swim in pure, clean, safe water.

 

 

 

Designing watershapes for construction by others in remote settings isn't everyone's cup of tea. The keys to success, reports Andrew Kaner, include specific, multiple forms of contact and communication -- as outlined here in a profile of a breathtaking project in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Designing watershapes for construction by others in remote settings isn't everyone's cup of tea.  The keys to success, reports Andrew Kaner, include specific, multiple forms of contact and communication -- as outlined here in a profile of a breathtaking project in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
By Andrew Kaner

Through the years, we’ve worked on lots of projects in remote locations all around the world, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda. In a few instances, we’ve worked without any site visits – but our strong preference is to see where we’re working: It helps move our process along if we get the lay of the land and have the opportunity to meet with clients or architects or property representatives on site.

The reasons for this preference are obvious: We draw ideas from what we see, nail down a sense of scale and proportion and head to the drawing board armed with

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