PondWorks teamed up with Stillwater Landscape Associates to create this custom swimming pool and landscape project. This Montgomery County property was transformed from a flat grassy space into a backyard retreat. The clients intended to use this space for entertaining friends and family with some custom backyard amenities.
As on most large scale projects, we encountered some unique challenges that would influence the design and layout of the overall project. Due to an existing easement for a detention basin at the rear of the property, and standard requirements for building setbacks, the pool was located on a 45-degree angle to the house to optimize its size within the allowable space. The size, shape, and scale of the pool were driven by the clients’ desire to use it for recreational purposes, such as laps and team water sports.
After execution of the design contract and going through the necessary design revisions and meetings, we finalized the concept, price, and schedule striving to adhere to the clients' parameters. We then submitted for building permits; the project site work phase of the project began in earnest.
Due to limited access and space for construction vehicles, the construction process needed to be properly staged in order to sequentially and logically install specific elements. Another unique aspect to the project was working with the local utility providers and sub-contractors to increase the available gas and electrical services in order to run the necessary equipment and features that the design and clients called for.
The equipment was outfitted with a filtering system, heater, and a custom digital control system. We worked with the client on tile selection for the pool and spa to add an unexpected pop of color. The spectacular ‘fire and water’ features were custom built for the project and carefully integrated into the field-stone. The pool was accented with color changing pool lights, which help to create a dramatic evening effect alongside LED landscape lighting. While the pool is only able to be used in the warmer months, the spa is available for use in the winter months, making this backyard retreat enjoyable 365 days a year.
The patio was also outfitted with a custom fire pit, built in grill, and pergola. The pergola was custom made to follow the east to west track of the sun, while showcasing gracefully curved wood beams.
The end result featured a pool with two access points in the shallow end, with wading areas, a large field-stone wall bordering the pool with the ‘fire and water’ features, and a bench that allows people to sit under the falling water of the water features. In addition there is an automatic pool cover that retains the heated water temperature, preventing debris from entering and providing fall protection.
This project was multidisciplinary success and tied together a myriad of design constraints and desires into a showpiece installation. The integrated landscape design, pool construction and sitting, the spa's technological integration, the fire & water elements, and the outdoor living space provide visual interest as well as function throughout the outdoor entertaining season of southeastern PA.
Project Name: Backyard Retreat
Pool Contractor: PondWorks
Landscape Designer: Stillwater Landscape Associates
Landscape Contractor: Draushak Landscaping
Project Engineer: Irick Eberhardt Mientus