Prairie Style

Aq 907 102pg 0001 

Set on a 150-acre estate overlooking a prairie, this poolscape in Hampton, Minn., is as tranquil as the natural scene around it. And that was the goal, says Jerry Kalin, owner of Olympic Pools in nearby Shakopee. "They wanted something that looked more like a pond than a traditional pool," adds Kalin. "They told the landscape architect they were looking for a 'pool at the bottom of a quarry.'"

To get there, an old 20-by-40-foot rectangular concrete pool was removed, and Olympic then created this free-form activity pool with a maximum depth of 5 feet and natural stone coping. A Diamond Brite onyx finish in the pool gives it the desired pond look, and long steps and benches below the waterline offer ample seating.

The two large boulders sitting poolside add to the quarry effect: one is a tanning ledge and the other is a fountain that looks as though it's a continuation of the stream flowing toward the pool, though it's not. "The flow over the rock can be adjusted from a mere trickle to a significant falls," says Kalin. "The pool had a special footing installed to support the weight of natural stones, but they were not confident they could find a large enough stone that did not have cracks. Therefore, they custom built these faux stones."

"This project took about a year from the start of the design to completion," notes Kalin. "But construction proceeded with minimal problems because of the planning that went into the front end."

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