October 2011 AQUA Choice Winner: Combining Two Concrete Pool Preferences In Wheeling, Illinois

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photo of Platinum Poolcare Aquatech pool
Photos courtesy of Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.

The wife had a proclivity for the modern. The husband preferred natural settings. But the spouses were clients on equal footing and so the result would have to please them both. Designing a single waterscape with elements appealing to different tastes was the challenge that faced Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, of Wheeling, Ill.

photo of Platinum Poolcare Aquatech pool
The Indiana Limestone bridge serves as the nexus between two disparate zones of design, the modern patio/pool area and the kids' natural rock play area.
photo of Platinum Poolcare Aquatech poolphoto of Platinum Poolcare Aquatech pool

"They have a very modern house, and they wanted part of the pool closest to the house to match it, but they also wanted the grotto and waterslide feature to have a natural look, so the blending of those two things was a little challenging," says Mike Higgins, who handles residential sales for the company and was involved with the project. "Trying to make a natural-rock feature blend in with more modern decking and a more modern-looking pool — it was a challenge to fit that in there."

So what do you do when you're trying to transition between two distinctive design zones without getting wet? You build a bridge.

A span of solid Indiana limestone arches from the serpentine pool walls and glass-tiled spa on the modern side of the pool to the play area made of concrete and quarried stone, tying the two areas together.

Some construction aspects of the well-bouldered water feature made the job interesting, Higgins says. "We constructed the two slides out of shotcrete, and used a custom concrete stain to get the look of the slides. In terms of flow, we were trying to give the kids a nice run down both slides, and then over the grotto we wanted to avoid a solid sheet of water — instead we wanted a more broken sheet."

The 1,502-square-foot pool is equipped with a Paramount in-floor cleaning system, and sanitization is provided by a Rainbow erosion feeder using Nature II mineral purification combined with ozone. Under this meticulously cleaned water, the interior surface of the pool sparkles with a custom-blend, Diamond Brite finish. All-glass tile from Bisazza circumscribes the pool at the waterline, and also covers the outside of the spa, while Valders travertine pool coping eases the transition to the deck.

When the final tile was laid and the pool filled, what was the result? A waterscape that offers two different, well-defined spaces, full functionality for family activities, and yet lies comfortably before an impressive home.

Platinum PoolcareAquatech, Ltd.

Landscape Architect: Earth DevelopmentProject location: Northbrook, Ill.Category: Concrete pool/spa combo

Submit your pool project for the 2012 Aqua Choice Awards at www.aquamagazine.com. Deadline is Oct. 1.

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