Independent or Integrated
Pool Design article by Michael Nantz, SWD Master
Very early on in the residential swimming pool design process one is faced with a couple of choices, independent or integrated. The vast majority of the pool placement of published work seems to fall towards the independent or stand-alone. Pools that may have a physical connection to the residence made by newly installed concretes or wood decks, but sit well beyond the residence as an independent. This choice offers a wide array of options for style and finishes. Landscape plays a big role in the final product, from formal to organic and if not landscaped the independent becomes lost, simple or even boring. Proper landscape completes the independent environment.
Other more integrated designs join residence structure with the water. The creativity and ingenuity involved to achieve such a task is at times complicated, but the result is often elegant and luxurious to a different degree than the sibling independent. Adjoining the pool structure to the houses’ foundation allows for interesting visual details to be explored; abut the water to a vertical surface, a clean minimal look or tuck the water in and under a horizontal plane, creating the illusion of a floating architectural element, to name a few. The integrated presents structural design challenges that have to be addressed but when challenges are overcome the integrated design offers striking visual interest.
A hybrid third choice may be necessary when existing structures other than the residence are to be preserved such as an Arbor, Outdoor Kitchen, Detached Garage, etc. Integration with these elements and creative transitions are key. Developing a master plan, one of continuity and utilize the existing structures, with flow to the new without notice is a skill required for this choice. The final product should look as if all were planned and constructed together.
Either having physical connections or not, the independent is an easy safe choice for the designer. The integrated and its hybrid are the most challenging, structural concerns alone require expertise beyond most design abilities. But with the right team, integrating the waterscape with the architecture can be stunning.
Consider your next site, I am not suggesting you force the opportunity, but if the option makes design sense, depart from easy and safe, consider it…
I will continue with further considerations on how to arrive at which option makes the best design sense in future Genesis blogs. Stay tuned.
Michael Nantz, SWD Master
Elite Concepts Inc.
PO Box 293314
Lewisville, TX 75029
T (214) 222-1225
F (214) 390-9989