Photo: Briana Wolman/ Misfit Brands

"Beautiful Barrier"
Nick Hauk, owner
Pure Design, Plano, Texas

"Beautiful Barrier"

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"Beautiful Barrier"
Nick Hauk, Owner
Pure Design
Plano, Texas

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This modern waterscape was truly a case of function directing the course of form.

The clients had a lovely home in a rural area near Plano, Texas.

“It was out in the country — beautiful house, beautiful property, great location,” says Nick Hauk, owner of Plano-based Pure Design. “But they backed up to some neighbors behind them who just didn’t really keep the backside of their property tidy. So a lot of the design was built around hiding the neighbors.”

And they needed to be masked both visually and auditorily. “They had dogs barking, and the client wanted to drown out the noise as much as possible,” Hawk says.

But the clients’ property also sat on a creek, so the homeowners wanted to preserve the views and direct the eye toward that area.

This goal guided a number of decisions. First, the team placed the pool fairly close to the home, even though the property was expansive. “The farther we pushed it out, the closer we’d get to the neighbors behind them,” Hawk says, explaining why he avoided that strategy.

A large wall would be needed as both a visual and sound barrier, and a waterfeature would further mask the barking dogs.

But even with these practicalities in mind, the design team paid special attention to the aesthetic aspects of the yard. The white stucco, dual-level wall is taller in the sight line of the neighbors. The rectangular cutout not only adds interest but helps connect the space with the back of the substantial yard.

“I wanted it to not feel like a giant wall but also to have a void in the wall to see some daylight, so it doesn’t feel like you just have a random wall in the middle of the yard,” Hawk says. “I wanted to leave a void in the wall so you could get a sight line through it.”

Three copper scuppers below the cutout help obscure the sounds coming from beyond the clients’ property. Hawk wanted more than one scupper: He knew they would throw interesting shadows when the sun reached certain positions, and figured multiple narrow scuppers would creating a striping effect with their shadows. He likes to work with odd numbers, so he chose three.

Below the waterfeature, he placed Tejas black gravel to create a sense of depth when contrasted against the light materials surrounding it.

“It gives it the feeling of almost a three-dimensional effect, where these water features feel like they’re almost jumping out at you,” he explains.

The spa stayed flush with the pool. With it close to the home, Hawk didn’t want to elevate it, lest it detract from the wall and waterfeature. “I also don’t like to elevate any spa vessels when they’re that close to the house because it tends to feel a little tighter,” he adds.

To the side of the long, narrow pool area, between it and the creek, Hawk placed a firepit and seating area.

The deck and coping are made of a beige travertine. An accent strip of black volcanic basalt stone behind the coping adds contrast and provides a nice transition from the large-format coping to the more intricate Versailles patterned deck.

Pump: Pentair
Filter: dev60
Heater: Jandy jxi 400p
Controller: Rs8 ps
Coping: Travertine with a basalt border
Deck Finish: Travertine
Waterproofing: Basecrete
Interior Finish: Pebble Sheen
Waterfeatures: Scottsdale Fire and Water
Lights: Jandy
Drain Covers/Fittings: A&A pebble top
Skimmers: A&A Venturi