Think Big

Aq 1006 178pg 0001

What's bigger than Texas. How about the Canadian Rockies. In Texas. That defines big. In the imagination of one Dallas penthouse owner, they came together in a, well, big way. The main body of water is only 20 feet long, but it's part of a 10,000-square-foot entertainment area on the 18th floor of a Dallas high-rise.

Craig Cameron of Natural Water Environments in Bedford, Texas, worked on this project alongside many subcontractors, engineers and architects. Cameron's role centered on the pool room and the stainless-steel swim spa with its 13-foot-long negative edge. It arrived in 6-foot sections that were craned through the 18th floor windows. The swim spa's support frame was welded to four large selfleveling shock pads to eliminate potential vibration. Cameron also designed the 30-foot curving catch basin 6 feet below the edge to resemble a mountain stream.

"When you enter the room from the balcony, you see that 6-foot-high wall of water," he explains, adding that rock waterfalls at either end of the catch basin add to the mountain stream effect.

The tile mural depicting snow-capped mountains, tree-covered foothills and a waterfall tumbling into a blue mountain lake covers the adjacent 21-by-25-foot wall and completes the Canadian Rockies scene, inspired by the owner's childhood memories.

Other mountainous design details include the custom handrails that look like intertwining vines and the pool's Venetian glass tile surfaces that blend from a combination of gold/green and blue along the walls to all-blue floor. Completing the look are the life-size ceramic Canadian trout "swimming" in the catch basin.

The pool has a reduced-chemical sanitizing system (which Cameron's company markets) so there is virtually no chemical odor in the room.

Meanwhile, a dehumidification system maintains a pleasant environment, and four fiber-optic illuminators with dimmer wheels set a mystical mood at night.

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