Outdoor swimming pool design is one of the most exciting and fulfilling aspects of landscape architecture. When guests come to visit, they almost always want to go to the pool. Regardless of whether they intend to actually swim, lay out, or gather for conversation on the patio, it is absolutely necessary to get this part of the landscape done professional and correctly. Because it functions as an almost immediate extension of the human living experience from indoors to outdoors, swimming pool design must, above all things, respect the architecture of the home that it exists to compliment. Its size must be proportional to the house, and the patio that surrounds it must distinguish itself as a part of the surrounding yard, not an element that is contrary to the rest of its surroundings. To achieve so many objectives, and to balance them all at an apex of design, speaks volumes to the necessity of letting professional landscape architects conceptualize, initiate, and develop outdoor swimming pool design from start to finish.
This is due to the fact that a professional landscape architect has higher criteria for outdoor swimming pool design than those normally specified by pool companies. There are certain details that can only be addressed by a landscaping company who sees the entire property as a global unity of Nature and man-made forms. Such considerations as the elevation of the water and the depth of each step in relation to surrounding terrain can only be made by the professionals who will be sculpting that terrain into a new synthesis of new consciousness animated by organic life. Pool contractors have not been trained to see Nature itself being a component of outdoor swimming pool design. The ability to create a transitional space from home to pool, from pool to garden is admittedly a science composed of many disciplines, and a high-ticket service by all admissions. Pool contractors will offer less expensive price points by lowering many of these aesthetic specifications—but the costs saved will be disappointing to the homeowners in the long run when they look out of their windows onto a pool and a landscape that just do not appear to work together.
Landscape architects prefer to give people exactly what they want in terms of aesthetics and design while at the same time paying the pool contractor his fair price for his expertise and labor. People with a sense of outdoor luxury, for example, can have their swimming pool designed with water jets that arch water over the top of illuminated swimming areas. Others want a fountain designed as a waterfall that cascades from a high point down into the main, deeper end of the water. One of our clients even went so far as to have a spa placed at one end of the pool near that faced an outdoor room with a big screen TV on the back wall. He now relaxes in the spa while watching his programs, then turns around and takes a swim during commercials. This actually saved him money as well, because by consolidating things such as outdoor spas, waterfalls, and fountains into the swimming pool design itself, enormous money can be saved on the cost of having to build these features as separate elements in different locations throughout the yard.
When a landscape architect or landscape design services firm oversees outdoor swimming pool design, the best of both worlds can be expected. The landscaper will manage the aesthetics and see to it that the finished product will look superb in relation to trees, gardens, statuary, arbors, and outdoor rooms. The pool contractors will apply their expertise to building a structure that functions reliably and safely without mishap or mechanical failure. Everyone wins in such a relationship, and the homeowners ultimately win the most because they get to participate in the aesthetic development of the plan every step of the way.