Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Design Disconnect - where's it happening?

Negative edge pool & infinity edge pool designer, watershape builder and aquatic consultant Paolo Benedetti discusses the "disconnect" in design between the buildings and the landscaping & pool.

Where does the disconnect begin?

Though most people begin designing their dream estate with grand intentions, once construction begins, the reality of change orders and cost over-runs begin to set in. What started as a harmonious design, thoughtfully integrating the architecture of the buildings, landscape, grounds and pool, quickly disintegrates.

Why? It is a rare individual who is willing to put the "design before all else." These are individuals who really "get it." As the construction costs begin to exceed their initial budget, they do not begin to modify the design to reduce costs. They have the moxy to dig deeper into their wallets, in order to ensure that the designers vision is executed flawlessly.

These people are the true connoisseurs of the art of architecture. They understand that everything in architecture needs to work together... like they belong together.

How the pool & landscaping become so hideous

As the construction expenses launch into the stratosphere, most owners begin to look to other areas of the budget for money. Those areas don't have money growing like weeds. Rather they are seeking areas where they can scrimp, cut, trim & compromise on the design, materials, quality and contractors, in order to free funds for the phases of the project that are under construction and committed.

Since the landscaping and swimming pool are usually the very last aspects of a project to be completed, they are the first to be "borrowed from." Hence, what started out as a well thought out design, quickly becomes a second rate pool on a first rate estate.

Examples are all around us
Browse through any high-end real estate magazine at the expensive estates for sale. Almost every listing has a picture of the swimming pool. Look closely at the pools... you'll see cheap interlocking pavers, boring rectangular cover pools, precast concrete stairs and coping stones... signs that they ran out of money, cheapened out or had champagne tastes on a beer budget.

Sometimes you'll see just poor taste... volcanoes, waterfalls on flat properties, boulders stacked in a contrived fashion in the yard with water bubbling out of the top.

This is not to say that everyone must be a billionaire to enjoy the ownership of a good design. Quite the contrary. Anyone can afford good design. What it means, is that all of the elements of a project must work together.

If the inside of the residence has ancient limestone floors imported from a demolished French Chateau, then the pool decks should not be cheap Mexican Durango stone. The pool copings should not be precast concrete - no matter how expensive. This is not the place for cheap gravity block retaining walls, precast fireplaces, columns or railings.

By contrast, the owner of a modest track home can enjoy more modest finishes, provided that the materials are consistent with the quality of the balance of the home. Designs can also be over done - over built for the property. Lavish finish materials on a modest track home will not look right. Nor will the owners ever recoup their investment.

The key to good design is hiring an aquatic designer with a proven portfolio, sticking with the initial design and using compatible materials - inside and outside.

Why did this happen?

Because the people consulting on the initial design usually do not fathom the true costs of construction. They grossly underestimate the cost of the pool and finish materials Quickly the pool is seen as being "over budget."

In reality it is not the pool that is over budget, but rather the architect or designer who is ignorant as to the true cost of quality, details and supervision. The initial cost of the "dream pool" was just too low.

As my grandpa used to say, "anyone can build cheap."

"You only have to pay for quality once."

Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist"Creating water as art."™Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa©