Pool should complement architecture

You may have seen the commercial where the affluent couple meets with a talented architect. Placing a faucet on the desk, the couple asks him to build a house around the faucet.

That is exactly how I see the pool with regards to the surrounding exterior space. As a pool designer and builder, it is the aqueous elements that are the centerpiece, the focal point, with all the other architectural facets as complementary components.

This is what I identify as "AquaTekture," the discipline of designing, engineering and erecting water environments and ancillary components in a harmonious nature with consideration to function, space and aesthetics.

For centuries, water has significantly influenced architectural design. Notable examples are Roman baths, Egyptian aqueducts and, of course, the city built on water: Venice, Italy.

More recently, trendy designers and architects have been influenced by the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, incorporating the five basic natural elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal to achieve better health, wealth and harmony in one's life.

Successful AquaTekture does not require a six-digit budget or every accessory available on the market. A giant waterfall, lavish planting, custom furnishings, imported tiles and sunken barbecue do not guarantee great AquaTekture.

Good design may happen by accident, but great AquaTekture is the result of a trained, talented and focused designer who time and again creates extraordinary spaces to fulfill the client's desires within a specified budget.

Many designers employ high-tech methods such as Structure Studios' animated 3-D program to assist in the design process. Thousands of components in a variety of colors, textures and styles are available at the click of the mouse, allowing the homeowner to "virtually live" the AquaTekture their designer has created.

If you have questions regarding AquaTekture or any other pool related topics, I will be a guest speaker at the Home, Spa and Outdoor Expo Friday through Sunday in the South Point exhibit hall, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South. My appearance schedule is from 6-8 p.m. Friday and 3:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday at booth 806.

For additional details on the Expo, visit www.vegashomeshows.com or call 656-2337.

Joe Vassallo is the president of Paragon Pools, a certified building professional and on the boards of the local, regional and national Association of Pool and Spa Professionals organizations. Send questions or suggestions for column ideas regarding pools and spas to him at jvassallo@paragonpools.net or 251-0500.