The Designer

Marc Luff
Betz Pools Ltd. 
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

What the judges thought: Designed around a tremendous tree, this inground vinyl pool/spa hybrid bubbles with style.

Hot spot: A suburban backyard in Toronto, Ontario got the pool/spa hybrid its owners envisioned — and within budget — by going an unconventional route. Rather than fiberglass or shotcrete, which lay out of the homeowners’ financial reach, Marc Luff presented an affordable alternative. Measuring 15-by-18 feet, the vinyl-lined vessel can achieve 100+ degrees. A perimeter shelf allows guests to skirt around a 6-foot deep end. They can sit a spell on benches on either side. To ensure a snug fit over the steel accoutrements, a subcontractor fitted and heat-welded the liner on site. To lend the water a tropical hue, the designer suggested the tan liner with a sandstone-like print.

Root cause: Luff carefully designed the outdoor living area around a handsome Siberian spruce that sits dead-center in the yard. “What I wanted to do is have their living space from the east part of the yard meet with the water on the west part of the yard, and have that tree as the focal point,” Luff said. To achieve this, the designer erected a 3-foot-high semicircle wall with sheet waterfalls around the tree. This required a custom radius panel for the corner of the pool/spa below the natural stone wall. Wiarton ledgerock was chosen for the wall because it is native to the area.