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    © MAXWELL MACKENZIE,COURTESY ROBERT M. GURNEY, FAIA ~ ARCHITECTS
  • Image
    © MAXWELL MACKENZIE,COURTESY ROBERT M. GURNEY, FAIA ~ ARCHITECTS
 

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 says.

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 shed.”

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 firm.

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 masterpiece. 

Linda G. Green contributed to this article.