Natural materials and tones combine with clean lines and clever features to create a perch at once opulent and homey.
by Rebecca Robledo
Some properties just have too much going for them. In creating this pool/spa combination, the designers had two beautiful views to work with — one of the warm modern home, the other of Asheville, N.C. and the nearby French Broad Valley. In response, they developed this sleek pool with knife-edge detail on three sides and vanishing edge on the fourth.
The raised four-sided overflow spa with fire pit provides the centerpiece. And it sports a clever feature: the transparent swim-up bar hanging over the vanishing edge. In-spa stools sidle up to the bar so viewers can look directly from the overhanging spa edge to the long vista. The bar achieves two seemingly contradictory goals — making functional use of the best seat in the house while preventing the bar from interrupting the view over the vanishing edge.
To create the bar, the Medallion team cut and polished a sheet of 1-inch-thick plexiglass. It’s set 1 inch above the vanishing-edge weir so water can flow underneath it with the smallest possible profile. It is secured with stainless steel connectors often used for glass railings.
The fire pit not only frames the vista, but represents a visual bridge between the deck and pool, using the same porcelain tile found on the deck, which is meant to replicate granite, and an accent strip of the mosaic used on the pool and spa. It works with the transparent bar to help protect users at the edge.
Designers Mark Dorsey and Bob Lewis largely followed through on the home’s symmetry, pairing the spa with a sunshelf of the same footprint so they each take up half the pool’s width. In addition, an outdoor kitchen and outdoor living room each share about half the covered patio space.
The team contoured the spa seating to resemble that found in manufactured acrylic spas. Recessed jets reduce the profile while increasing comfort. An inset of wooden deck placed on the side opposite the home hearkens back to a similar material used in the architecture.
The finished product reflects the precision and sensibility of professionals with Dorsey’s and Lewis’ engineering background. In fact, even providing work site access required preliminary engineering, with forms and a walking platform calculated so crews could safely hang the 17 and 18 feet off the ground while working around the vanishing edges.