Because the three-sided vanishing-edge pool looks more mystical than manmade. Because seven circulation, filtration and pump systems make this project look as if it’s all part of the lush landscape. Because the naturalistic pool has a high-tech side with its perimeter fiberoptic lighting under the vanishing edges. Because a 300-foot stream of rushing water looks as pretty as it sounds. Because mass quantities of Montana stone create a rugged beauty. Because the homeowner requested lake water be used for all landscaped streams, so none of the property’s rocks would be touched by chlorinated water.

When a Midwest homeowner envisioned a lakeside backyard setting with a pool and spa spilling water 300 feet down a bluff, his wish became an aquatic work of art.

The project, which overlooks Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, integrates four unique design elements: a three-sided, vanishing-edge pool; an elevated natural stone spa; a 5-foot waterfall; and streams running from the spa to the pool and from the waterfall to the lake.

“The overall appearance is that of a flowing stream that encompasses a spa and swimming pool,” says John B. Jacobs, construction manager at Vaughan Pools & Spas Inc. in Jefferson City, Mo., who served as the design consultant and project manager. “The spa is the ‘spring’ or beginning of the water flow.”

Lake water also pumps from a landscape pond located below the pool into a trough in front of the spa. “This creates the illusion that the spa water is running into the upper landscape stream to the pool,” Jacobs says. “The lake water stops short of the pool and flows into a hidden pipe, which runs under the deck into the landscape pond at the other end of the pool.”

The architect and homeowner selected native stone from Montana to tie together the lakeside setting with the house, pool, spa, deck and landscaping. “We worked with their selection,” Jacobs says. “Obviously, many truckloads were needed for the entire project.”