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Project after project, making incredible complexity seem routine is what Jimmy Reed and his tile installers are all about. That unwavering finesse is particularly on display in this sublime poolscape, with its tilting, undulating vanishing-edge wall and uniquely configured spillover spa.
Project after project, making incredible complexity seem routine is what Jimmy Reed and his tile installers are all about.  That  unwavering finesse is particularly on display in this sublime poolscape, with its tilting, undulating vanishing-edge wall and uniquely configured spillover spa.
By Jimmy Reed

Very often these days, we’re a pre-selected contractor and get involved in projects early enough that we participate in their development almost from inception. That’s great, because it gives us the opportunity to define what needs to happen to make the most of the glass-tile finishes we’re frequently asked to install.

In this case, however, another contractor had the first shot at the job, which involved extensive work on an unusual vanishing-edge pool as well as an innovative spa and a nice little waterfeature.

Long story short, that other company had apparently never

 

Given the opportunity to dream big on behalf of a willing client, Shane LeBlanc delivered a trio of watershapes that go far beyond the ordinary -- including one with a 100-foot-long vanishing-edge wall that brings a slice of Las Vegas liveliness to a laid-back Louisiana riverfront.
Given the opportunity to dream big on behalf of a willing client, Shane LeBlanc delivered a trio of watershapes that go far beyond the ordinary -- including one with a 100-foot-long vanishing-edge wall that brings a slice of Las Vegas liveliness to a laid-back Louisiana riverfront.
By Shane LeBlanc

In advancing my career as a watershape designer, I’ve put major stock in education to give me an edge. I’ve taken multiple courses in computer-assisted design, for instance, along with all sorts of technical-skills classes to keep me up with what’s current in the field.

But I’ve noticed as well that the accumulation of experience is a huge additional asset, mainly because it reflects what I’ve already tried, survived and learned from – but also because having done some of the things I’ve tackled through the years gives me

 

In 2008, William Drakeley was at a crossroads and saw this big, uniquely challenging project as a way to separate himself from the crowd. lt was a bit more than he bargained for, but he persisted -- and knows that making it all work changed the regional perception of his business.
In 2008, William Drakeley was at a crossroads and saw this big, uniquely challenging project as a way to separate himself from the crowd.  lt was a bit more than he bargained for, but he persisted -- and knows that making it all work changed the regional perception of his business.
By William Drakeley

For me and my business in around 2008, this project was a real rite of passage.

At that point, pool-construction and shotcrete-application companies like ours were well established and had lineages stretching back to the 1950s. Just the same, we were having a hard time gaining recognition from architects, landscape architects and developers who were pursuing quality, prestige construction.

The irony is, my own firm had

Renovating a pool for a client who is keenly engaged in the process can be a challenge, writes Andrew Kaner. But with a home and setting like this, the desire to get past it and deliver an amazing transformation lightened the load -- and, in this case, led to spectacular results.
Renovating a pool for a client who is keenly engaged in the process can be a challenge, writes Andrew Kaner.  But with a home and setting like this, the desire to get past it and deliver an amazing transformation lightened the load -- and, in this case, led to spectacular results.
By Andrew Kaner

We don’t get involved in renovations all that often, but in this case it would’ve been tough to say no.

Not long before, we’d designed a new pool for right next door – a thoroughly modern watershape that looked great and was perfectly suited to the property and the architecture of the home.   As work continued on site, it was apparent that one of the neighbors was more than a little

Though his long career, John Cohen has had a knack for finding clients who appreciate his passionate approach to watershaping and, as was true for the project on display here, come to enjoy the unconventional ways in which ideas, themes, echoes and details evolve on site.
Though his long career, John Cohen has had a knack for finding clients who appreciate his passionate approach to watershaping and, as was true for the project on display here, come to enjoy the unconventional ways in which ideas, themes, echoes and details evolve on site.
By John Cohen

This project began with a client’s dropped jaw.

I’d been called to the site by one of my usual subcontractors to help resolve a minor problem he was having.  While that was being resolved, I noticed that the new steps in the remodeled pool were far more troubling.  

With the client and a bunch of other people standing there, I asked for a demo hammer – and saw the looks of astonishment as I smacked the top step and

Seven watershapes on three levels, each one as dramatic as the next? The concept alone is breathtaking, report Claude Kershner IV and Jeremy Guillen, who say a great design and a superb project team gave them exactly the support they needed to deliver perfection.
Seven watershapes on three levels, each one as dramatic as the next?  The concept alone is breathtaking, report Claude Kershner IV and Jeremy Guillen, who say a great design and a superb project team gave them exactly the support they needed to deliver perfection.
By Claude Kershner IV & Jeremy Guillen

When you step up to tackle what might possibly be the most challenging job your company has ever pursued, there’s definitely a gut check involved.  Do you have the required staff?  Can you call on top-flight subcontractors?  Do you have the stamina to get involved and stay involved for the duration of a seriously long, seriously complex project?

As we found in building the seven watershapes

Presented with a smallish space that opened out onto a great big one, Jeromey Naugle found himself playing with views near and far in all sorts of complex ways. The result is a composition that met his clients' desires -- and offered him an interesting insight into his design process.
Presented with a smallish space that opened out onto a great big one, Jeromey Naugle found himself playing with views near and far in all sorts of complex ways.  The result is a composition that met his clients' desires -- and offered him an interesting insight into his design process.
By Jeromey Naugle

I love it when a project teaches me a lesson about my design process.  In this case, it was just a smallish insight – but it had a profound effect on the outcome just the same.

I’d seen this property for the first time while the home was under construction.  It was a large building, about three-quarters complete, that occupied most of a fairly large parcel.  The clients were happy to show me around, let me figure things out and come

This downtown Indianapolis apartment complex wanted a rooftop pool to help build a sense of community. Stainless steel was the answer here, writes Gary Novitski -- a shell that allowed for a stylish, vanishing-edge look up top while keeping everything watertight and safely dry below.
This downtown Indianapolis apartment complex wanted a rooftop pool to help build a sense of community.  Stainless steel was the answer here, writes Gary Novitski -- a shell that allowed for a stylish, vanishing-edge look up top while keeping everything watertight and safely dry below.
By Gary Novitski

As a mixed-use apartment complex in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., the not-quite-modestly named Artistry complex boasts sleek architecture and modern features intended to reflect the community’s long history of skilled craftsmanship as well as its appreciation for the arts and commitment to active, energetic lifestyles.  

The main building features five stories of urban apartment homes above 68,000 square feet of commercial office space. Two additional buildings provide options for alternative accommodations, including

The property may be in Missouri, but the clients wanted a 'mountain lake' to go along with their big, Rockies-style lodge. Kurt Kraisinger was happy to oblige -- both for the change of pace and for the scope and scale of what proved to be a vast, detailed and lengthy endeavor.
The property may be in Missouri, but the clients wanted a 'mountain lake' to go along with their big, Rockies-style lodge.  Kurt Kraisinger was happy to oblige -- both for the change of pace and for the scope and scale of what proved to be a vast, detailed and lengthy endeavor.
By Kurt Kraisinger

Who says you have to live in the Rockies to get the perfect mountain home?  These clients are living that dream just outside Kansas City, Mo.

Not long ago, they purchased land north of the Missouri River near Smithville, a rural outpost known for its rolling hills, plentiful trees and tobacco farms.  It’s a place where relatively low-cost land is still available, and people have started buying acreage and building their

Vanishing-edge pools have been around for a long time now, but Paolo Benedetti is aware that good numbers of watershapers are still making fundamental errors in their design and construction -- including some problems he seeks to address with a few helpful tips.
Vanishing-edge pools have been around for a long time now, but Paolo Benedetti is aware that good numbers of watershapers are still making fundamental errors in their design and construction -- including some problems he seeks to address with a few helpful tips.
By Paolo Benedetti

Vanishing-edge walls have been a common design detail for the past 25-odd years and have been the subject of seminars and workshops almost as long as I can remember.  Still, it’s clear that there are several key points about how they should be designed and installed that elude watershapers who persist in treating these key structural components as little more than glorified in-pool spa dam walls or some other internal detail.

You can probably

Working with a property owner who insists on an unconventional approach to a project can be a challenge. But it definitely helps, reports William Drakeley, when that client is also open-minded, imaginative and absolutely set on achieving brilliant, gem-like results.
Working with a property owner who insists on an unconventional approach to a project can be a challenge.  But it definitely helps, reports William Drakeley, when that client is also open-minded, imaginative and absolutely set on achieving brilliant, gem-like results.
By William Drakeley

It happens only rarely, but every once in a while you run into a client who wants to do things out of sequence.

Most often, we’re asked to work on projects where there’s an existing home that needs a watershape.  Just as commonly, we’re brought in when a home is being built at the same time as a new pool and its associated environment.  In the case described in this article, however, our client owned a 20-acre site with little more than

Liability is a huge issue with commercial aquatic facilities and waterparks, notes Johnathan Roberts, a fact that has led many operators, managers, designers and builders to focus on safety in ways that go well beyond lifeguard stands, first-aid kits and omnipresent signage.
Liability is a huge issue with commercial aquatic facilities and waterparks, notes Johnathan Roberts, a fact that has led many operators, managers, designers and builders to focus on safety in ways that go well beyond lifeguard stands, first-aid kits and omnipresent signage.
By Johnathan Roberts

Swimming continues to grow as a preferred method of exercise and physical therapy for people of all ages, with commercial aquatic facilities seeing healthy increases in patronage year after year.  And whether it’s water aerobics, resistance training, water walking or aquatic yoga, there’s now much more to this popularity than traditional swim lessons for newcomers and laps or competitions for those with developed swimming skills.

With this popularity comes

Pool and spa designs are getting better and better by the day -- deftly contoured, crisply detailed and increasingly elaborate. It's an approach to watershaping that requires Jimmy Reed and his crews to reach beyond excellence, he says, to all-new levels of craft and skill.
Pool and spa designs are getting better and better by the day -- deftly contoured, crisply detailed and increasingly elaborate.  It's an approach to watershaping that requires Jimmy Reed and his crews to reach beyond excellence, he says, to all-new levels of craft and skill.
By Jimmy Reed

One of the things I like most about working in the watershaping business these days is how clever and creative designers and builders have become at what they do.

It’s not just the big details such as vanishing edges, play-pool configurations, sun shelves or swim-up bars.  And it’s about more than beach entries, grottos, laminar jets and cool spillways.  Those are all great, every one of them, but what I’m talking about here is the attention to the small things – the subtle ways more and more watershapers are finding to make

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