Hydraulic Masterpiece

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What makes this poolscape so complex is all the multiple elevations of vanishing-edge water spilling into each other," says Paulo Benedetti, principal at Aquatic Technologies in Morgan Hill, Calif. In creating this watershape in nearby Gilroy, which overlooks the Santa Clara Valley, Benedetti had only one request from the homeowner: "He wanted the spa out on the vanishing edge so they could sit in it and take in the view.

"But you can't have a spa spilling into the vanishing-edge basin because if you do that, then in the normal filtration mode, the pool goes down and the basin goes up because you're dumping water from the spa right into the basin," says Benedetti. "The water from the spa has to go into the pool first. So I created this 1-foot wraparound hidden gutter on the two blind sides of the spa. On those sides, the spa water first spills into this hidden gutter, then into the pool and finally the basin. On the other two sides, the spa water flows directly into the pool."

The 4-inch-deep thermal ledge with a 360-degree vanishing edge also has a "hidden" gutter on two sides, as well as a slot for a market umbrella.

The limestone pads leading to the spa were carefully crafted, as well. "The pads are set so that their bottoms are sitting right on the water. And the tile on the shelf 2 inches under the pads continues up the pedestals the pads rest on; so it's difficult to see the pedestals, and it gives the illusion the pads are floating."

Benedetti chose the blues, browns and opalescent white in the project's custom Oceanside Glasstile blend to match colors found in the home. In addition, a speckled brown granite covers the outside and top of the spa, as well as the outer walls of the thermal ledge. Benedetti regards this poolscape as one of his firm's best. We like it, too.

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