“I see my pools as functional, timeless pieces of art that people can enjoy,” says Lucas Congdon. “They are as important as historic architecture—like Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, they are worthy of being enjoyed for generations to come.”
For the last two decades, Congdon, through Lucas Lagoons, has been building and designing over-the-top, award-winning waterscapes that are as functional as they are full of fun.
His cutting-edge modern-Zen works, which juxtapose clean lines with rock, draw their inspiration from his lifelong love of nature. “That’s where I gather my strength,” he says.
Congdon, who grew up on a 64-acre farm in Vermont chopping wood instead of watching TV, has always loved building with rocks and working with heavy equipment. So, it was virtually
inevitable that at age 12, when his parents divorced, he would help his mother with her nascent landscaping business.
In 1999, Congdon moved to the swimming-pool-sated state of Florida, where he started a landscaping business and founded Lucas Lagoons in 2003. “My first pool remodel was nothing more than putting rocks and plants around the pool,” he says. “It came out really cool and got a lot of attention, so I found my niche.”
“After all these years, the work still excites me.”
Lucas Congdon – Lucas Lagoon
Congdon has won over 50 design awards, and his state-of-the-art design process includes site- specific engineering, geotechnical soil samples, and a 3-D design that can be viewed on virtual-reality goggles at the Lucas Lagoons design studio in downtown Sarasota.
His early designs made up Animal Planet’s TV show “Insane Pools Off the Deep End,” which now airs on the DIY Network. Congdon’s latest works will be on view in a new show he’s producing that will debut at the end of 2022.
“After all these years, the work still excites me,” he says, “because people can use the outdoor spaces and enjoy them. I love to see my dreams and imagination come to life—the kids splashing around and people sitting in the water or going to the swim-up bar to have a drink.”
The man known for designing and producing grand award-winning pools and outdoor living spaces designed a very modest waterscape for his own six-acre estate in Sarasota, Florida, for the enjoyment of two sons, who are 9 and 13.
“I remodeled the small pool that was there and added a waterfall,” he says. “Swimming is only one part of our activities. We do ziplining and rope climbing, and we’re big into mountain biking and travel.”
He is, however, planning bigger things for the 200-acre property he bought in New Hampshire. The large house he’s building, will, no doubt, have a larger-than-life pool. lucaslagoons.com.