It's rare to find a home with the sheer grandeur of the castle in southern Utah that houses May's AQUA Choice winner. The magnificence of this citadel made the challenge for the pool and spa builder all the greater, for any weakness in the design or execution would glare at every visitor - not to mention the host.
Fortunately, it's perfect. From every angle, the pool, spa and water features integrate with the surrounding domicile, reflecting its Northern Italian style while adding their own recreational dimension.
That's exactly what the customer ordered, says Jeff Gale, owner, Pacific Pools of St. George, St. George, Utah, the company that built the pool along with Pacific Pools and Construction out of Meridian, Idaho. "The customers requested a family pool that would sit in the courtyard of their Tuscany home, bring excitement and fun to the courtyard but not totally dominate it. The customers also wanted the pool, spa and water features to be as 'green' as possible."
Indeed they are - warmed by the heat that rises naturally from the earth's core. Water is pumped from geothermal wells through radiant coils built into the floor of the pool and spa (see photo), and returns can be directed to optimize heating when pointed at the floor or skimming when aimed horizontally.
The green theme continues with five Pentair variable-speed pumps and 2.5-inch pipes. Three of the pumps are Intelliflo 4X160 variable-speed pumps and two are Intelliflo variable-flow pumps. The former are used for the pool and spa filtering and also the spa jet. The variable-flow pumps are used to control the various water features.
These features include a 10-foot Fiberstars fiber-optic rain waterfall, four Fiberstars Large Laminar Flow Fountains and one auxilliary fountain to be used for a future feature - either a waterslide or waterfall.
All this water falling in wide ribbons and leaping from the deck bring life and movement to the stone courtyard, but this waterscape's undeniable visual appeal is also the result of bold horizontal and vertical surface planes. The water features, spa and pool are accented by a 4.5-foot elevation above the courtyard deck, while the rain waterfall creates a standing translucent curtain between the courtyard walkway and the pool. The four large laminar flow fountains come up invisibly from the raised flagstone deck at the pool height, and the 4-foot Shear Descents tumble down from the pool deck to the lower courtyard level.
The raised pool level was chosen for safety reasons, too. There are often young children about the home, and the raised pool creates a natural safety barrier.
The entire structure is built on solid sandstone so excavation was very difficult, notes Gale: "Even with raising the pool level we had to excavate 5 feet of sandstone. The raised section of the pool also had to be engineered so that it supported part of the home structure."
With such a foundation and elegant stonework throughout the building, this paean to Tuscan architecture looks like it will last for centuries.
Pacific Pools of St. George
St. George, Utah
Pacific Pools and Construction
Category: Concrete pool or pool/spa combo
Date Completed: 2009