When a Southern California couple decided to double down, they weren’t exactly in the middle of a high-stakes card game. Instead, they followed their own hearts and made things twice as nice with his and her pools.

“Their desires were so individualized that they had to have their own pools,” says Skip Phillips, co-founder of Genesis 3 and founder of Questar Pools and Spas Inc. in Escondido, Calif.

She wanted something intimate and small — a shallow, non-splashing pool that could be easily heated. He, on the other hand, saw himself using a big rock out-cropping to dive into, and splash around in, a 9-foot-deep, vanishing-edge pool.

“These clients were driven,” says Phillips, who was retained as pool designer/consultant for the Mount Helix project in San Diego. “They were sophisticated, well-traveled and smart.”

Phillips’ philosophy behind the project rooted itself in reflections. “I wanted to get the water level up high,” he says. “I wanted to use the vessels to mirror the surroundings.”

He also honored the natural lay of the land. “I think what makes or breaks all pools is the elevations and following the forms of the contours of the property,” Phillips says. “We don’t have the elevations jacked up in the air where they’re not supposed to be.”

Why it stands out

  • Because a spa bridges the philosophical gap between a husband’s 9-foot-deep vanishing-edge pool and a wife’s shallower, nonsplash pool. 
  • Because solar panels keep her pool warmed to 92 degrees. 
  • Because a rock outcropping serves as a diving platform for his pool. 
  • Because the couple purchased the vacant, one-acre lot next door to accommodate the pools. 
  • Because the jade-colored interior finish mirrors the look on high-profile pools such as the Amandari and Four Seasons resorts in Bali. 
  • Because the low-flow rates on the brooks flowing into the pools operate at 60 decibels, just under conversation level. 
  • Because the vanishing-edge pool seems to flow into the lush landscape and the heart-stopping coastline vistas stretching from Mexico to Catalina Island.