Brian Van Bower
What the judges thought: This is a great example of how less is more, and how difficult it can be technically to pull off a very understated design. I love the symmetry of the lounge areas in the pool, and how the spa seems to intrude into both the living and lawn space. — Kate Wiseman
Simple appeal: The homeowner envisioned an elemental form adjoining his 16,000-square-foot home, itself linear and fairly unadorned. David Pavlesic placed the spa under the existing patio cover. The center points of both pool and spa line up with the kitchen. When discussing softscape, the client made clear he wanted a truly maintenance-free yard, with only a few potted plants and 7,000 square feet of artificial turf. But then came a twist that would seem easy to an outsider looking in: The turf had to meet up directly with the rectangular, perimeter-overflow vessel. Every other builder had said there was no way to bring the grass over the perimeter-overflow gutter. Pavlesic knew it had been done but, to his knowledge, only twice and only by one person — Brian Van Bower, president of Miami-based Aquatic Consultants and a co-founder of Genesis. Van Bower designed the hydraulic system and worked with manufacturer Bobe Water & Fire Features to design stainless steel edge plates that would accommodate synthetic turf over the gutters. To illuminate the waterscape, approximately 20 nichless LED lights were used to create a more soft, even glow throughout the pool and spa.
Luminescent elegance: To make the surface as sleek as possible, the homeowner chose to blanket the entire interior with a 5/8-by-5/8-inch glass tile, in a range of browns to match the natural stone on the house. This added an extra degree of difficulty to the crews as they worked to a 1/32-inch tolerance over the 206 feet of overflow edge. Iridescent tiles make up about 1/3 of the abalone-colored mixture, to add a glow to the surface. “The customer didn’t want the entire pool to be 100-percent iridescent,” Pavlesic says. “He wanted a little bit of subtlety but he wanted it to shimmer.” The pool and spa, which also features a slot-overflow design, have separate holding tanks constructed of shotcrete and buried 10 feet underground. When considering turf, the designers found three or four samples that could hold up to chemically treated water, then presented them to the homeowner, who chose based on look and feel. Just in case, all turf within 3 feet of the slot was set such that it could be easily replaced if it wears more quickly than the rest.