Cool in the Pool: The Aquatic Program


A well-designed aquatic program can transform any outdoor living space into a veritable summer oasis. Whether lounging or entertaining, a pool and its surrounds provide homeowners with a wonderful sensory experience—and a welcome relief from summer heat.

When planning pools to complement our architecture, we take design cues from several sources. Because the pool is an extension of the home, we first consider the residence’s architecture. We then study the topography for space restrictions, and consider whether the site or home’s placement on the lot lends itself to a particular shape. Free-form shapes that mimic the outdoor environment feel more organic, while rectangular designs tend to play well with strong lines of traditional architecture.

When appropriate, we specify an infinity edge, allowing water to flow freely over one side. These vanishing edges give the visual impression that the pool is without boundaries, or that it may be somehow connected to the nearby ocean. The infinity edge has the added benefit of enhancing the area with calming waterfall sounds, adding to the overall sense of relaxation.

If the property will serve generations of family, or if the homeowners have small children, we often design the pool with a wide entry and gentle pitch for easy access. Ideal for both sunbathers and splashing tykes, a tanning shelf may also be considered to achieve the same goal.

When site constraints or client requests won’t permit a full pool, we may explore the Soake Pool as an option.  Smaller in scale and a fitting complement to our architecture, Soake Pools are a cost-effective way to add a water element to our properties. With a variety of customization options, Soak Pools can be designed that allow the unit to blend with other exterior programming, the fit, character, and theme of the product.

For all designs, we recommend using gunite for its exceptional versatility. Gunite is a mixture of sand and cement shot through a hose and does not produce seams like traditional poured concrete. In addition, nearly all of our pools are finished with Pebbletec, a natural-textured durable surface. While a wide range of colors are available, many of our clients opt for sophisticated hues of deep blue which appear to have an almost mirror finish against the night sky.

If talk of a pool has you reconsidering your home’s program, contact us to learn how we might approach the project.  In the interim, we invite you to find meaningful inspiration in our portfolio.


Originally posted August 1, 2019.

Revised July 21, 2022.