Russ Hinderliter
San Juan Pools & Spas
Pekin, Ill.

Tom Schureman
Landscape architect
Stuber Land Design, Inc.
Tremont, Ill.

What the judges thought: This design marries convenience with elegance. Not only is the pool accessible and well-positioned near the house, but it benefits from the use of balanced tile work applied directly to the shell and throughout the project.

From scratch: This Roman-inspired pool was part of a new home construction project, which makes a project slightly easier, says Russ Hinderliter. “We have control of everything at that point,” Hinderliter says. “Change the complete yard and where the fence goes. A lot of times, with an existing location, you’re limited to what’s there, and people have something in the way that they love and don’t want to let go of.” The homeowner wanted this accessible pool/spa combo positioned only steps from the house, placing it in the path of runoff from a small hillside in the backyard. But because the yard wasn’t yet existing, Hinderliter was able to set the shell more than a foot above the lawn and fill in around it. A landscaping wall along the back of the pool deck brings additional protection to the design, while a paver deck is made to look like travertine.

Roman bath: Like the mosaics of the baths in Rome and surrounding areas in days long passed, this project includes tile to boost the custom feel plus highlight the Blue Lagoon color of the fiberglass shell. Installing the tile to the prepared fiberglass surface and surrounding concrete took Hinderliter’s crew a few days, as they worked to place the glass tile in a pleasing pattern. “It’s not a lot of square feet of tile, but it’s very tedious,” Hinderliter says. “We have the little ½-inch-by-½-inch pieces that come in sheets, but we arched around the spa to follow the design of the pool, and it takes time.” The tile curves around the built-in spa, highlights the deck-on-deck construction on both ends of the pool and ties it all together with the tile line.