Catalina Foothills #1

A 1960’s era angular pool was transformed into a natural-style pool with the addition of a raised spa.  Catalina stone boulders from the site construction were utilized in the remodel.  All Cooldeck was removed and new patio seating areas of colored, exposed aggregate concrete were created.

The Backstory

  • Add Spa, Waterfall and Stream
  • Naturalize pool area
  • Reconfigure decking and yard into ‘rooms’
  • Intense boulder work

The client, an avid collector of sculpture, was referred to me by a well-known landscape designer.  The desire was a ‘Piece of Sabino Canyon in my own Back Yard’.  He also wanted ‘A piece of Carl Art’ for his collection.  His term, not mine.

The early 1970’s diving pool and huge deck area were removed and replaced with colored, exposed aggregate concrete, shaped into ‘rooms’ for seating, lounging and connecting two wings of the house.  The rooms are separated by landscaping and connected by pads of the same exposed aggregate.  There is also a grassy area behind the water feature and planted soil mound, hidden from the main pool area.

Reshaping the pool’s shell provided shelves at different elevations to support not only the rounded rock encrustation, but also large boulders that plunge up to six feet into the water, then above.  Stainless Steel pins, epoxy and adhesive mortar, as well as temporary wooden supports keep these boulders in place.  They were defying gravity and would have fallen into the pool without the support system.

The boulders came from the home’s construction site for the most natural look.  The water feature and stream sculpts and shapes the water with each stone’s natural surface angles and textures, widening as it approaches the pool.

Not only was this project designed and built for the clients, but also for the family dog, who had its own shallow bench and ramp to enter and exit the pool.

This is the first of three projects for these clients, all on the same property.