It was a tough task. The expert jury (two architects and two home builders) had to vet more than 400 entries to select just 29 winners of the 2012 Custom Home Design Awards.
This eye-catching pool and garden pavilion garnered a merit award
in the accessory building category from Custom Home
magazine, a Hanley Wood publication.
Robert M. Gurney designed this jewel box of a pavilion for a jewel
of a site: a suburban backyard that abuts a preserved woodland.
Conceived as a eye-catching counterpart to the brick house, the
pavilion sits on a half-acre close to the woods, providing a
threshold between the natural and manicured landscape.
“Its relationship to the house, swimming pool and landscape
components was as important as the building itself,” Gurney
The low-pitched stainless steel roof floats above a dry-stacked
stone wall and a mahogany box housing the mechanical equipment and
bath. Frameless glass walls and five pivoting, steel-framed glass
doors both enclose the 475-square-foot space and open it to the
outdoors. Citing the play of geometric forms and clean use of wood,
a judge dubbed this a “modern interpretation of the
A key component of the project, the pool is a gem in its own right.
Ted Peterson, whose firm was the general pool contractor, says the
waterscape is integral to the architecture of the pavilion. Its
crisp, clean lines perfectly complement the building.
That is in stark contrast to the original pool. “We tore out
the existing pool and put in a new one,” he notes. “The
original was in the wrong place. So the shallow end became the deep
end [on the new pool].”
This new, gunite beauty is rectangular, measuring 15-by-38-feet,
with depths ranging from 3 feet, 6 inches to 7 feet. The custom
bluestone coping accentuates the Pebble Tec Ocean Blue finish. The
automatic cover was custom designed by Peterson’s
This was a challenging job site for the pool professionals —
Peterson’s firm and Alpine Pool & Design Corp. —
because there was no easy access to the backyard. They were forced
to come in via the home’s front-yard driveway.
But that didn’t stop them from creating an aquatic
Linda G. Green contributed to this article.