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Bernardo P. Hernandez

Bernardo P. Hernandez


Pedro joined the firm on day two of official operations in 2004 and continues to support us in the field with construction services and our Event Pool.

While Dave was Vice President Engineering at Polaris Pool Systems (now a part of Fluidra), Pedro worked under him within the facilities department, maintaining the building. The executive team at Polaris had known about Dave’s resignation for 4 months but the rest of the company had been kept in the dark about it – including Pedro – until the final two weeks.

On the first day of Dave’s absence (a Friday), Pedro abruptly, and without even discussing it with Dave, quit his job at Polaris and called Dave.

“Well, what do you want me to do?” Pedro asked.

“What do you mean?” I replied.

“I quit. I want to come and work for you.” Pedro explained.

It was a surprise as we had never even discussed employment but it’s in my nature to help people and I couldn’t say no. I’ve never regretted it.

“Uhhhhh. I wasn’t planning to hire anyone yet. But, come to my house Monday and I’ll get you started on our first construction project!”

Pedro has a great sense of humor and keeps me laughing.

One more funny thing about Pedro: his birthday is the same as my son’s and my birthday is the same as his son’s. Pedro’s son, Omar, has also worked for me for years!

Pool pavilion

Outdoor Living Room

This project was a major remodel of a pool and pavilion, complete with a warm covered outdoor living room.

There were actually two pools here – the one you see and the shattered one that was crushed by expansive soils and used as the form for the visible pool. Yes, it’s a pool within a pool.

Outdoor living
Outdoor living as seen from the new outdoor kitchen. The house is to the left. The pool pavilion is “across the pond” – a destination that feels like you’ve actually left the house and traveled to a resort.

This small valley in Olivenhain California had a couple of other famously cracked pools within its highly expansive soils. It was the primary reason that we actually eliminated the in-floor cleaning system and broken single main drain instead of splitting it into a safe pair – I just didn’t want the risk of one small leak wreaking havoc on the structure.

Outdoor Living
Outdoor living room
This former patio was enclosed with new walls, custom doors, a solid roof, and new stone flooring leaving only one side open to the pool and yard. The glass doors at the right side connect to an indoor pool room with a billiards table.
Custom doors
The custom door at the rear wall is matched symmetrically with one on the right. Both open up the space for fresh air to an open space behind the pavilion where a small sports court exists. Many details included wrought iron as a rustic theme to the remodel.
The columns, wrought iron and wall below the wrought iron were original. We added the trellis and built out the waterfeature and spillways to provide white noise against the sidestreet beyond. The bamboo screen became temporarily necessary when an unexpected freeze killed the shrubs on the other side of the wall.
Outdoor kitchen
The covered section beyond is the new outdoor kitchen with a large bar and firetable.
Concrete countertops
Polished and sealed concrete countertops, complete with cracks and uneven color, continued the rustic look of the large U-shaped outdoor kitchen.
La Cantina Doors
New La Cantina doors and a feat of structural engineering allowed us to open up large walls to connect the indoor living space to the backyard, blurring any barriers.

Opposite the indoor pool room was a small building that was a shed, workshop and pool equipment room. It was cleared out and remodeled into a guest bedroom and bathroom with certain finish details matching the new outdoor theme.

The original spa was a mess after the pool-in-a-pool concept left the jets poorly functioning and at silly elevations. We raised it about a foot and added seventeen 1″ Tishways – named after my friend David Tisherman. The glass tile was made by Walker Zanger.
Before. . .
Before the remodel
This single image shows the original patio, pool with raised red cast-in-place coping, and the original wrought iron fence and columns beyond (see the waterfeature image above).

Design, engineering and construction: Watershape Consulting Inc.

Vanishing edge pool

Beautiful Environmental Consciousness

This sleek vanishing edge pool is a work of art strategically aligned through a forest of protected oak trees in Northern California – preserving the environment in many ways.

The true essence of a vanishing edge is its ability to reflect the environment beyond - in this case, a beautiful uplit oak tree
The design preserved the trees and made them a feature as opposed to an obstacle in the way of the pool.

The environmental protection plan continued with water and energy conservation at the depths of this beautiful design – literally. At the deepest part of this pool is a vault that conceals a 1/2″ thick floating-slat cover that, when deployed, stops evaporation and retains heat at night.

During the day the cover heats the pool like a giant blanket, increasing the water temperature without the use of fossil fuels – preserving the environment at a distance.

The natural landform of the hillside was maintained and it appears to creep right into the decks
The automatic cover is completely invisible when retracted into the floor at the center of the pool.

The Aquamatic HydraLux cover requires no tracks at the waterline, no track at the vanishing edge, and no hard-to-hide lead-bar typical of vinyl safety covers. As the HydraLux name implies, these covers are a premium luxurious addition to a pool and/or spa but the long-term water and energy savings will pay for it in time.

Another benefit of a floating slat-cover is the ability to cover shapes other than rectangles which is a primary limitation of typical vinyl automatic safety covers.

The wall at the right terminates as a lounge chair
The wall at the right terminates as a lounge chair.
Looking back at the house and glass pool house from the corner of the vanishing edge
Grating at the basin, which can’t be seen from the house or decks, protects the wildlife and helps keep oak leaves out.
Vanishing edge pool and wood deck nestles into the natural grade
The wood deck seems to float above the natural terrain which appears to be undisturbed even after the complicated construction.
Vanishing edge pool and glass pool house
The small pavilion provides a sheltered destination from the house. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a book in the serenity of the natural environment.
Structural sections
Structural sections show deepened footings and the vault at the center of the pool where the retractable Hydralux cover resides.


Architecture: Elements Architecture.

Landscape Architecture: Land Tec Landscape Architects

Pool Engineering: Watershape Consulting Inc.

Pool Cover: Aquamatic Pool Covers Inc.

Construction: Paradise Pools & Gardens