Known for their endless pursuit of what’s next in residential or commercial water-filled leisure, experts in the world of pool design, construction, components, or technology are offering insight into what is trending now and, what lies ahead.
“The future for pool design is found in making the focus more about engagement. Unique engagement,” says Justin Fox, landscape and outdoor living designer/co-owner of Foxterra Design, Irvine, California. “We’re creating spaces with features that may not normally be included, but provide more of the unexpected. Like at resorts, we want to design outdoor areas that can transport beyond the typical pool experience.”
As outdoor design consultants, the Foxterra Design team are professionals at envisioning spaces that transport. To accomplish this, Fox looks to flow, materials and features, but also a sophisticated design style.
“Within our designs, we are seeing an overwhelming interest in the organic modern vibe,” Fox points out. “This style includes wood tones and natural elements reflective of Talum (Mexico) or the white facades and surfaces like those of Santorini (Greece).”
Fox sees the organic modern style as delivering not only a California vibe, but also a cutting-edge trend that’s reach exceeds beyond the Pacific coast.
“I feel that there is a shift from the high contrast of dark granite surfaces and pool interiors to the whites and neutrals,” continues Fox. “Although over 50 percent of our work is occurring out of state, this organic modern style continues to set the standard. What has been in vogue on the West Coast is now gaining interest from developers and designers all over.”
For Fox, his choice of in-pool tiles to furnishings also follows this style trend. Capturing the hues of light aqua waters, handmade tiles from Morocco can also represent an artisan-wrought mystique. Custom built-in day beds, non-raised fire pits, and handcrafted hanging lights are all trending per Fox and seen as having the ability to enchant and transport.
Beach Water Bodies
Transporting individuals to resort-like experiences is not only a goal of pool designers, but also pool technology innovators. Crystal Lagoons is one industry expert that is well aware of this with its patented state-of-the-art technology allowing developers to include man-made lagoons with clear waters into any size project.
Founded by Fernando Fischmann, Crystal Lagoons is an award-winning innovator in sustainability and entrepreneurship. The patented model allows developers and investors to create an entertainment hub anchored around turquoise-water lagoons and white sand beaches.
“With currently more than 1,000 projects in different stages worldwide, our technology is focused on improving people’s lives through the addition of attractive meeting points for people in their cities,” says Iván Manzur, senior VP of sales, Crystal Lagoons US Corp. “At the same time, we are focused on increasing the value of real estate projects through the implementation of our technology, which in turn helps solve some of the world’s most pressing sustainability issues such as water scarcity, energy scarcity, and pollution.”
This futuristic technology is on display in the 183-acre, multi-family community, Solé Mia, in South Florida. A seven-acre crystalline lagoon is the first of its kind in Miami. With white sand beaches, the lagoon is the development’s main attraction adjacent to ONE Park Tower by Turnberry with its panoramic views.
Clear Point of View
Whether from above, below, or through, in outdoor design is so much about the view. From 500 feet in the air or at a length of nearly 70 feet, underwater windows are offering views across the commercial or consumer pool industry. But, one segment is experiencing major growth.
“Over the past 25 years, our business has worked with public zoos to aquarium facilities. To do a residential project was rare,” says Jason Jovaag, general manager, Aquatic Glazing International of Las Vegas. “But times have changed and now using the same technology, our products are being incorporated into 15 to 20 residential pools a month.”
See-through cantilevered pools like that of Houston’s Market Square’s 50th floor was the first of its kind in the United States. Aquatic Glazing’s designs are now found in dormitories to Hawaiian resorts. One is currently on the drawing board involving an intra-pool shark tank viewed through four windows. As a part of slightly tamer residential venues, underwater windows are becoming a staple for adding light into sunken fire lounges or adding under pool views to swim up bars.
While resort style and engaging elements have long been a feature in residential pool design, there is a shift that is occurring that is being recognized by experts in the field.
“The outdoors is no longer only viewed in relation to being an extension of the interiors,” says Ryan Hughes, owner/creative director, Ryan Hughes Design Build. “In many cases, the outdoor spaces are now acknowledged as the primary living area for the home. The exterior venues are being built with depth, texture, and shifts in elevation to accommodate and define the home’s overall aesthetic. All from an outside perspective.”
Alternative layering of design elements is also growing in popularity with clients of the Hughes team including sanctuary extensions. Main bedroom/bathroom sanctuaries are crafted to add elegant and enhanced relaxation areas. Pavilions and casitas also are trending to provide alternate settings for relaxation, entertainment, personal retreats, or work spaces.
What Lies Ahead
Pool design and innovation experts have always been on the cutting edge; ready to make the next big splash; but what are they seeing on the horizon?
“Beyond more amazing pool designs, we are addressing requests for unique water features including walls adjacent to the pool or water being intermixed with landscaping in more imaginative ways,” says Ryan Hughes.
For Crystal Lagoons and its technology for bringing waterfront living to residential developments worldwide, it sees the future incorporating a greater focus on more Public Access LagoonsTM projects. “These developments are creating urban beach life by bringing the ocean to people’s doorsteps,” comments Manzur.
“We see the future as about the addition of more engaging elements in outdoor living spaces and the creation of ultra-resort-like experiences,” says Fox.
In its work with a growing number of high-end designers, Aquatic Glazing International is embracing requests for greater sizes and configurations. “Pushing the normal excites our team,” relates Jovaag. “We have accomplished so many notable things by pushing the boundaries. We look forward to the challenge tomorrow brings.”