Christian Marsch Photography

Iridescent Cube
Nils Erickson, CEO
All Aqua Pools, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

"Iridescent Cube"

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"Iridescent Cube"
Nils Erickson
All Aqua Pools, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
2023 PSN Masters of Design
Category: Concrete

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Perimeter-overflow pools are complicated enough. But, thanks to space restrictions and groundwater issues, this particular project required special measures.

The home is set near Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway. Not only did this bring gorgeous, unobstructed views of the water, but also tight setbacks and higher than normal groundwater.

To top it off, the clients wanted a pool/spa combination to spill around the entire perimeter, but they didn’t want to see any troughs or catch basins. As it was, the 10-foot setbacks off the seawall also precluded a typical vanishing-edge catch basin.

A rectangular pool made the most sense with the modern home. The team at All Aqua Pools oriented the 12-by-38-foot vessel to run parallel with the home and place it to frame a view of the river only, without the nearby boat or dock. To keep things simple, the spa would be built inside the pool’s footprint, with a mere 4-inch elevation from the pool’s water level to minimize water disturbance from the spillover . The pool itself would stand 4 feet 6 inches above the seawall.

The deck is finished in white limestone shell, while the 38-foot-long, 4-foot tall vanishing-edge wall is covered in 1-by-2-inch multicolor glass iridescent tiles, with black as the base. Water over the vanishing-edge wall in back would fall through 10-by-10-inch commercial grating concealed by pebbles.

A substantial sunshelf was placed in the pool, set 30 inches away from the vanishing-edge wall to reduce the chances of falling over the weir.

For this design to materialize, the team had to make some adjustments to the normal ways of delivering water through the perimeter-overflow system. Because the homeowner didn’t want to see troughs or catch basins, all the displaced water would have to travel to a remote surge tank. But because of the high water table, the team had to address the potential of it popping.

Traditional tanks wouldn’t work: Because of their depth, they would sit in the water table. Instead, the designers chose a fiberglass septic tank. With its horizontal orientation, the tank would stay relatively close to grade, with less of a chance of popping out of the ground.

They set the suction line and the auto fill in the tank high enough to ensure the tank is always 2/3 filled to prevent popping. They also outfitted the tank with a sump pump system with a float to pump rainwater out of the tank. A sump alert will send an email and text to the homeowner if the tank’s water level drops below a certain level.

The vanishing edge at the back spills into a shallow, narrow trough that also flows into the surge tank. To ensure that the trough always drains toward the tank, the tank was set at an elevation just below the trough’s.

A variable-speed booster pump operates the vanishing edge/perimeter overflow system 24/7, with lower flows at certain times of the day.

When it had first been installed, the system created a slight noise — “just enough to where the owners could hear it in dead silence,” says Nils Erickson, CEO of All Aqua Pools, in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

To fix this, crews spent hours grinding and polishing the edges so they were completely level. This way, the system would need less water to spill over the edge in order to achieve full coverage.

The finished product speaks for itself. “It looks like a black granite cube,” Erickson says. “It’s beautiful ... It’s water art.”

Pump: Jandy VSPHP270DV2A
Filter: Jandy CS200
Heater: Jandy JXI400P and JRT3000R
Controller: Jandy RS-PS4, 6614AP-L, IQ30-A
Chemical Feeder/Sanitation System: Jandy PLC1400
Tile: NPT
Coping/Deck Finishes: Limestone
Waterproofing: Laticrete
Interior Finish: Wet Edge Midnight Meditation
Lights: Jandy JLU4C12W100 and CPLVRGBWS100
Drain Covers/Fittings: Paramount
Autofill: K1100CKC
Skimmers: Hayward
Fencing: Standard Vinyl