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03-04-21 | Feature

Pool Renovations Accentuate Mountain Views

New Design on Berkshire Hills Residence
by Edgewater Design LLC

In designing the pavilion, the objective was to provide both a pool cabana and a generous open-air lounge area that would blend seamlessly with the pool terrace. To achieve this, the Landscape Architects designed a simple steel-framed shed roof structure oriented to capture the dramatic view of the mountainside and valley beyond. The palette of finish materials for the building was selected to complement the natural setting. Limestone was used throughout the pool area and under an outdoor ping pong table which sits on an approximately 19' x 13' patio set within the adjacent lawn on the northerly side of the pool.
The project located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts involved the renovation of a pool area as a family gathering space that embraces the unique natural beauty of the property. The Landscape Architects with Edgewater Design LLC worked with architectural firms Mark Stevens Architecture and Giambastiani Design from Boston on the renovation which encompassed a new infinity edge pool with an inset hot-tub, stone terraces and walls, extensive landscaping and a contemporary pool pavilion. The design intent of the project was to create an expansive pool area, overlooking spectacular views of the surrounding Berkshire mountains, while not increasing the overall footprint of the existing pool and surroundings. The existing pool area was sited between the driveway to the main house and a wooded area. The driveway is at the top of a steep slope with the pool elevated approximately four feet higher than the driveway. The team could not change the driveway and did not want to disturb the wooded area, so they stayed within the existing pool complex overall area. Working closely with the Architects to site the building, they created a seamless melding of the pool pavilion and pool terraces. For the pavilion, a natural fir planking was chosen for the finish ceiling and a light gray, pre-weathered Galvalume was used for the standing-seam metal roof. Beyond the pavilion to either end, a pool equipment yard and small parking area were screened with a custom-designed shadow box fence constructed of Western Red Cedar. Before renovations, the area had high clipped shrubs that blocked views of the mountains. By locating the new pool at the edge of the bluff, the Landscape Architects used the dramatic effect of the infinity edge and opened up the vista with sweeping views of the mountains. They were also able to maintain the existing woodlands on the upper slope by limiting grading and minimizing site disturbance. In designing the site, challenges presented themselves. To handle the storm water away from the pool a decorative stone drainage channel of Mexican beach pebbles aligned with the westerly side of the pavilion terrace in a large landscape bed was created. In addition to surface water from the terrace, metal scuppers on the sloped roof empty into the channel which than daylight into the existing storm water system. The drainage is heavily planted with native grasses, shrubs and perennials with boulders set in to enhance the beauty of the landscape feature while residents and guests sit under the pavilion. Another challenge was to integrate the adjacent driveway and entry on the lower terrace so you would not see a high pool fence as you came up the hill. The fieldstone retaining walls and infinity spill around the pool enabled helped eliminate some of the fencing on that side of the pool. Where there was a need for fencing, a split rail cedar fence that blends with the natural landscape setting was used. The split rail fence is used on other parts of the property, but this fence is fitted for pool code with an inset wire mesh. The pool, pavilion, and surrounding landscape blend into and complement the mountain side views and offers fun and relaxation for the whole family. Team: Landscape Architects: Edgewater Design LLC Architecture: Mark Stevens Architecture and Giambastiani Design Photography by Bradley Jones Pool Contractor: Wagner Swimming Pools Building Contractor: Chris May Builders Landscape Contractor: Windy Hill Farm
The spill portion of the infinity edge over a stone veneer wall doubles as a fountain when viewed from the other side approaching from the lower driveway toward the main house. The stone veneer of the pool walls match the fieldstone used around the main house.
The overall size of the pool is 48' x 20' with a bench along the length of the pool to view the mountain-scape. It is at a length optimum for swimming laps as well. The swimming pool and hot tub are granite with a black finish. The infinity edge has a black granite coping stone to complement the pool finish. The 9' x 7' hot tub is situated to hide users from the driveway below and allow for more patio space.
The plant palette was designed to show ever changing interest throughout the summer months. Except for some large trees and shrubs on the north corner of the pool, all the landscaping was new. From spring through the fall there is a constant bloom of trees and shrubs including Magnolia Soulangeana, Stewartia Pseudocamelia, Cornus Florida, Hydrangea Paniculata, Macrophylla, Clethra Alnifolia, Viburnum Opulus, Tomentosum and Ilex Glabra.
The pool decking is an 18" x 36" Silver Birch limestone, cut in a running bond pattern that flows from the edge of the pool through the pool pavilion. The stone is from the Cotswold region of the United Kingdom and was constructed with an extensive drainage system below the concrete base. The stone color is a light cream that is relatively cool under strong sun and is therefore comfortable for bare feet. The steppingstones from the north and south entries are the same material with turf joints to blend in with the garden.
The pool decking is an 18" x 36" Silver Birch limestone, cut in a running bond pattern that flows from the edge of the pool through the pool pavilion. The stone is from the Cotswold region of the United Kingdom and was constructed with an extensive drainage system below the concrete base. The stone color is a light cream that is relatively cool under strong sun and is therefore comfortable for bare feet. The steppingstones from the north and south entries are the same material with turf joints to blend in with the garden.

The project located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts involved the renovation of a pool area as a family gathering space that embraces the unique natural beauty of the property. The Landscape Architects with Edgewater Design LLC worked with architectural firms Mark Stevens Architecture and Giambastiani Design from Boston on the renovation which encompassed a new infinity edge pool with an inset hot-tub, stone terraces and walls, extensive landscaping and a contemporary pool pavilion.

The design intent of the project was to create an expansive pool area, overlooking spectacular views of the surrounding Berkshire mountains, while not increasing the overall footprint of the existing pool and surroundings. The existing pool area was sited between the driveway to the main house and a wooded area. The driveway is at the top of a steep slope with the pool elevated approximately four feet higher than the driveway. The team could not change the driveway and did not want to disturb the wooded area, so they stayed within the existing pool complex overall area. Working closely with the Architects to site the building, they created a seamless melding of the pool pavilion and pool terraces.

For the pavilion, a natural fir planking was chosen for the finish ceiling and a light gray, pre-weathered Galvalume was used for the standing-seam metal roof. Beyond the pavilion to either end, a pool equipment yard and small parking area were screened with a custom-designed shadow box fence constructed of Western Red Cedar.

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Before renovations, the area had high clipped shrubs that blocked views of the mountains. By locating the new pool at the edge of the bluff, the Landscape Architects used the dramatic effect of the infinity edge and opened up the vista with sweeping views of the mountains. They were also able to maintain the existing woodlands on the upper slope by limiting grading and minimizing site disturbance.
In designing the site, challenges presented themselves. To handle the storm water away from the pool a decorative stone drainage channel of Mexican beach pebbles aligned with the westerly side of the pavilion terrace in a large landscape bed was created. In addition to surface water from the terrace, metal scuppers on the sloped roof empty into the channel which than daylight into the existing storm water system. The drainage is heavily planted with native grasses, shrubs and perennials with boulders set in to enhance the beauty of the landscape feature while residents and guests sit under the pavilion.

Another challenge was to integrate the adjacent driveway and entry on the lower terrace so you would not see a high pool fence as you came up the hill. The fieldstone retaining walls and infinity spill around the pool enabled helped eliminate some of the fencing on that side of the pool. Where there was a need for fencing, a split rail cedar fence that blends with the natural landscape setting was used. The split rail fence is used on other parts of the property, but this fence is fitted for pool code with an inset wire mesh.
The pool, pavilion, and surrounding landscape blend into and complement the mountain side views and offers fun and relaxation for the whole family.


Team:
Landscape Architects: Edgewater Design LLC
Architecture: Mark Stevens Architecture and Giambastiani Design
Photography by Bradley Jones
Pool Contractor: Wagner Swimming Pools
Building Contractor: Chris May Builders
Landscape Contractor: Windy Hill Farm

As seen in LASN magazine, February 2021.

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