The violin pool is finished with a custom blend of glass tile that replicates the deep hue of the owner's Stradivarious

Orchestrating Custom Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic tile images have been around for thousands of years. This implementation in 2012 included a Stradivarius violin wood-grain blend.

Violin pool
Colored lights are capable of changing the overall appearance of the violin in fascinating ways.
Violin plan view
The owner plays the violin and he thought of the shape for the pool because he wanted a play area (body), lap section (neck) and spa (chin-rest). The “bow” was conceived as a koi pond, separated from the neck by acrylic windows.
Guitar lap pool
The pool looks a bit like a guitar in this view and the perimeter overflow spa shines like a polished ebony chin-rest.
Luxury Pools + Outdoor Living

The violin pool was a Luxury Pools + Outdoor Living Pinnacle Award Winner in 2014.

Wood grain Oceanside glass tile
Oceanside Glass & Tile made a custom blend of mosaic tiles to mimic the wood grain of a Stradivarius. The “f-holes” and tailpiece are black glass tile. Yes – I couldn’t resist including “f-holes” in this blog!
Violin scroll and strings
With a beautiful background of custom blended mosaic tiles, the violin strings shimmer with light and guide lap swimmers from tailpiece to the “scroll” and back.
Violin upper bout
The violin’s “upper bout” is 7′-4″ deep.
Don’t Break the Neck

The pool is 7′-4″ deep where it meets the neck. It is possible that the body and neck could hinge due to differential soil settlement so extra reinforcing steel was added, reminiscent of the violin strings.

Similarly, the koi pond “bow” crosses the neck with acrylic windows separating fish from lap swimmers. Extra reinforcing was added here too and resembles the horse hair used for real violin bows.

This is the type of special structural engineering that Watershape Consulting is known for – we are creative problem solvers.

Reinforcing steel like violin strings and a horse hair bow
Extra reinforcing steel added to the violin neck and koi pond “bow” connections.

Landscape Design: Cipriano Landscape Design

Structural Design & Engineering: Watershape Consulting Inc.

Watershape Contractor: Cipriano Landscape Design

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.