Steve Pham

Our Masters of Design issue holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it the most beautiful issue we produce but it was my introduction to the industry when I started at Pool and Spa News four years ago. I recall being astounded by the level of artistry and obvious passion for detail that each designer brought to their projects. It made me eager to soak in the world of pools and spas and appreciate the beauty and pleasure they brought to homeowners.

That feeling is no less true four years later. Each designer honored in this year’s gallery of winnersfvuqexdwdvttz, be it for vinyl liner, fiberglass or concrete pools to waterfeatures and spas, deserves a hearty round of applause.

For the second time, we’ve partnered with our friends at Genesis in judging the concrete pools. Who better to judge these complex, masterful works of art than the organization leading the industry in cutting-edge design and construction techniques?

When I first spoke to Genesis co-founder Skip Phillips about setting up judging parameters, there was one thing we both agreed upon at once: For the integrity of the program, the judging must be blind. All identifying information was redacted from the entries, which allowed the pools to be judged solely for their merits.

Equally important was putting together a panel of judges with considerable expertise in the field, each masters in their own right. Skip carefully considered Genesis professionals that possessed unique, but complementary, design strengths and perspectives. You will no doubt recognize these longstanding industry icons:

• Paolo Benedetti, principal and designer at Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa in Morgan Hill, Calif. A longtime friend to PSN, Paolo is a Genesis instructor, Platinum Member and belongs to the Society of Watershape Designers.

• Jamie Scott, head of design and construction services for Group Works, LLC in Wilton, Conn. This 42-year veteran in pools and landscaping also belongs to Genesis’ Platinum group and Society of Watershape Designers.

• Kate Wiseman, principal designer at Sage Outdoor Designs in San Diego. Kate has a bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Landscape Architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Her specialty is designing outdoor living spaces.

My sincerest thanks to Paolo, Jamie and Kate for carving out the time from their busy schedules to pore over the numerous concrete pool entries received this year. Their insights into what makes for good design were invaluable.

Lastly, I’d like to call out our online exclusive winners. This year, we have three outstanding projects by the following firms: Red Rock Pools & Spas, Platinum Pools, and Willis Pember Architects. Be sure to check out their amazing projects.