Designing a luxury aquascape in Greenwich, Connecticut
Photos by Jeff McNamara
Overlooking Long Island Sound, this luxury shorefront estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, called for an expansive outdoor living environment. In addition to the stunning infinity-edge pool, spa, and fire pit area, this property also features a tennis court, putting green, dog run, “fishing shack,” lush plantings, and terraces for lounging, dining, and entertaining. The talented team at Wesley Stout Associates served as the landscape architects, site planners, and pool builders/designers for this large-scale project.
“This ambitious new-build project was master-planned to incorporate and blend two adjacent properties in the face of a stringent coastal regulatory environment,” says the firm’s principal, Wesley Stout. “The homeowners envisioned a property that optimized the indoor/outdoor opportunities and incredible elevated vistas.”
The pool was designed to enhance the waterfront view and integrate the composition of the overall landscape. “As you arrive to the property through a long, narrow access way, the site design continues in the theme of a ‘cascade,’ descending to the waterfront,” Stout explains. “These grade conditions presented optimal relationships for an infinity-edge pool design.”
Material selection was key in blending the pool and other hardscaping features with the surrounding landscape. “The scale and quality of the residence demanded robust hardscape detailing in complement,” says Stout. “Thematically, bluestone is the dominant site material and was chosen for its appropriateness to the setting and architecture. Though bluestone is somewhat ubiquitous in the Northeast, we employed oversized 4-foot by 8-foot bluestone sheets laid in running bond for the pool decking to create a one-of-a-kind paving solution,” he adds.
With the incorporation of bluestone tile on the vanishing edge, combined with a dark interior finish, the pool blends seamlessly with the dark hues of Long Island Sound, achieving a true water-to-water effect.
“One unique attribute of the pool design is the stepping stones set within the infinity-edge trough. They add intrigue to an otherwise utilitarian feature,” says Stout. “Flanking gas fire features were also integrated to frame the vista over the pool area.”
Another custom element is the “fishing shack,” located just above the dock and buried into the property’s grade; its roof was painted green to make it invisible from above. “The fishing shack was inspired by the initial site visit and the warmth of the spring sunshine on the sloping coastline, much like a grotto in the Greek Islands,” says Stout. “The clients loved the idea and supported our unique vision, which, for a fisherman, was the ultimate ‘man cave.’”