I designed this pool for a single family townhouse in the West Village of New York City. The huge basement gym got natural light from a skylight in the townhouse's back yard, and the owner wanted to add a pool. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as it turned out) it was not fesible to excavate any deeper, and impossible to raise the ceiling, so the prefabricated pool initially planned would have been unpleasantly small and shallow. I came up with the solution of splitting the room with glass: in addition to creating an unbelievably beautiful space, with naturnal light filtering through the shimmering water into the gym, it also solved a few technical problems (for example, a pool area needs to be hot and will be humid, but a gym should be cool and dry to be comfortable). I prolonged the pool outside of the gym, and extended the stone-paved steps which led down to the gym inside the stainless steel pool for a seamless transition. In this way I was able to get the water to the comfortable depth of 4' and make the pool just a few extra feet longer. I tucked all the pool equipment into a little rest area at the far end of the pool. A few closets needed to be torn down but the sacrifice was well worth it: the big empty gym and dark little closet area morphed into a space fabulous even by the standards of that ritzy Manhattan neighborhood.
I headed the design phase, but I was not involved in supervising the construction. Still, it is remarkable how close the end-result is to my initial 3D concept drawings and hand-drawn sketches of design details. It's hard to imagine, looking at the photographs, how many meetings with engineers, contractors, architects, and professionals of all trades and specialties were necessary to turn this dream into reality. When design is successful it looks so easy and self-evident; all the sweat, blood and tears which go into it are washed away.
Sketch-up didn't have a blue glass tile in its library of textures -- so I used this instead for my rough drawing, even though when I drew this I had already picked out the amazing, multi-depth and groutless blue glass tiles which ended up being used.
The gym pre-pool.
Then the gym through the pool...
Beauty shots, as featured on the cover and in the pages of Interior Design magazine. The pool was described as the most "eye-popping intervention" in the entire 6 floor townhouse.
Unfortunately in Interior Design's article the pool design was mistakenly attributed to the townhouse's interior decorators, who, after publication, wrote to the magazine to tell them I should have been credited as the pool designer -- but the magazine does not publish letters, and will only credit independent contractors, not employees as I was. Who would have thought a payroll check would have such a sad consequence? It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway, just to state the obvious) that I took the pictures OF the magazine, not the pictures IN the magazine.