The “portal” isn’t gated so that when you’re just on the driveway side, the outside looking in, so to speak, you see a portion of the pool and the view beyond. The pool doesn’t come into view until you are within 10’ of the portal. Up until then you are looking through and across an open airy expanse to the opposing hillside in the distance, some quarter of a mile away.
For this design, there were three primary views I worked with: the initial reveal moving through the portal, the view from the pool house and the panoramic view of the lake in the distance from the deck.
I also played with the vanishing edge detail, which is positioned in such a way that from much of the deck and inside the pool, you can’t even see what’s beyond the edge, a wonderful effect made possible by the steep slope. As you move toward the pool and closer to the edge, you increasingly have a sense of the elevation.
Looking out from the deck, you encounter another conceal/reveal type of effect in that the trees from the lower part of the property and adjacent area partially conceal the lake view. The lake is in view in the distance as you move through the portal. You see more of the lake at the base of the property, dappled through the trees when you are in and around the pool.
The pool itself is freeform with multiple radii. It measures about 55 feet at the longest and 25 feet at the widest. One of the advantages of using a curvilinear shape is that it, in effect, changes appearance depending on where you’re standing around the water’s edge. I love rectangles as well for a variety of reasons, but they do tend look basically the same from most if not all viewing angles. The curvilinear application here lends itself to a visual organic transition out into Mother Nature.
The design also includes a set of steps that leads from the pool area down to a wooden deck, which came to refer to as the “tree house.” Again, managing the view creates ambiance and drama. It’s not often you descend into a tree house, but given the slope you are still amongst the tree canopy’s.