Modern work

The homeowner came armed with specifications — a perimeter-overflow pool sitting 2-1/2 inches above the deck, with a spa inside, raised another 2-1/2 inches. “He wanted the pool to look like a black slab of granite and reflect the light,” says Sean Topper, principal of Topper Design Studio in Oviedo, Fla. “He wanted a horizontal sculpture.”

Craving simplicity, the client originally envisioned a single rectangle. But a pair of offset forms left a better flow pattern in the yard and fit within setbacks. “He absolutely didn’t want an L,” Topper says. “So I took the first rectangle, made it smaller, then offset it, and slid it down. It’s almost like a little Tetris piece.”

The team left only a 1-1/2-inch slot around the pool for the overflow, and builder Phil Bowles, president of Orlando, Fla.-based Phil Bowles Pools, created pull-out deck tiles on the corners for access to the gutters. Skimmer lids and deck-jet mechanisms were covered with the same porcelain tile used on the deck.