Welcome to Pool & Spa News’ third annual Masters of Design, where we celebrate some of the most magnificent projects our industry has to offer.

This year’s winners were selected from hundreds of entries. They run the gamut, from spectacular symphonies of light and shadow to humble streams singing a quiet, country tune. In fact, these aquascapes have only one thing in common: design excellence.

That brings me to the designers. Often, the aesthetics of a project are handled by a landscape professional. Sometimes a builder participates in the design, and sometimes not. For this reason, we interviewed everyone associated with the look of a project, and worked closely with all of them to determine who should receive the award. In many cases, the honor was given to more than one person.

What, exactly, are we honoring, though? With concrete pools and waterfeatures, the answer is obvious: We’re awarding the creators of visual poetry. But what about prefabricated pools and portable spas? Should they be left out because the builder or designer didn’t actually make the vessel? In the end, we found many backyards containing premanufactured materials that were nothing short of amazing.

Take a look at our spa section. These recipients did a lot more than plunk a piece of acrylic into a backyard and place some plants around it. They used stacked stone, brick, Ipe wood and carefully selected foliage to design unique, serene environments. I am so pleased that we were able to include them.

At Pool & Spa News, we take pride in awarding every sector of the industry for its best work. I hope you enjoy reading this Masters of Design section. We had a wonderful time creating it.

— Erika Taylor, Editor


  • The Artists: Peter M. Magee & Mike Ferraro
  • The Artists: Mark McInturff & Don Gwiz
  • The Artists: Bill Palmer & Michael Theilacker
  • The Artists: Michael Giordano &Jason Usnick
  • The Artist: Roger Soares II
  • The Artist: Gary Orr


  • The Artists: Irven McGoohan & Robert Baca
  • The Artists: Ariel Asturias & Rick Knight
  • The Artists: Ken Tucker & David Heron


  • The Artist: Michael Schneider
  • The Artists: Kathy Swehla & Clayton Varick
  • The Artists: Stephan Thuilot & Joseph Huettl
  • The Artist: Hendrikus Schraven


  • The Artist: Michael Giovanone
  • The Artist: Rick Ashabraner
  • The Artist: Markus Brunner
  • The Artist: Ed Gibbs


  • The Artist: Pat Walsh
  • The Artist: Mike Killingbeck


  • The Artist: Bill Shoreman
  • The Artist: Jay Tucker
  • The Artist: Jason Stoker