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Swimming Pool of the Week: A Rustic Family Campground—with a Lap Pool

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Swimming Pool of the Week: A Rustic Family Campground—with a Lap Pool

Joe Fletcher February 17, 2017

Several years ago, San Francisco architect Malcolm Davis (a member of the Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory) renovated a tall East Bay house with stunning views for a young couple moving from New York. The remodel was a success, and the couple—then expecting their first child—soon became a family of four. The parents, nature lovers and environmentalists, lacked outdoor play space for their two young girls, and solved the problem rather dramatically by purchasing a 165-acre parcel of land in Healdsburg, California. They turned again to their trusted architect to help them make it their own, and commissioned a low-impact, off-the-grid compound—a fancy campsite, really—with a trough-like concrete lap pool as respite from the hot summer sun.

 The lap pool is made of standard gunite, with a raised perimeter of board-formed concrete.
Above: The lap pool is made of standard gunite, with a raised perimeter of board-formed concrete.
Above: When designing the pool, Davis took inspiration from the utilitarian concrete water troughs of working ranches; the result “feels slightly agricultural,” he said, suggestive of “an agricultural trough that has been turned into a swimming pool.”
Above: The pool is heated, but the estate is entirely off the grid—sewerage is on septic, water is from a well, and heat and electricity is via photovoltaic panels (and a rarely used propane backup generator).
 The raised concrete edge stops leaves and dirt from blowing straight into the pool, and Davis likes the idea of being able to sit on the edge of the pool and admire the landscape.
Above: The raised concrete edge stops leaves and dirt from blowing straight into the pool, and Davis likes the idea of being able to sit on the edge of the pool and admire the landscape.
A screened dining porch overlooks the pool. Both the decking and screen frame are made of rot-resistant ipe wood, while the building&#8\2\17;s framing lumber is Douglas fir.
Above: A screened dining porch overlooks the pool. Both the decking and screen frame are made of rot-resistant ipe wood, while the building’s framing lumber is Douglas fir.
An ipe wood pool shower is tucked around the corner, and a rolling gate provides a means of egress from the pool pavilion.
Above: An ipe wood pool shower is tucked around the corner, and a rolling gate provides a means of egress from the pool pavilion.
Above: White lounge chairs by Loll Designs overlook the pool, while a pair of Adirondacks face a wood-burning stove.
 Strip lighting illuminates the pool at night.
Above: Strip lighting illuminates the pool at night.

Finally, get more ideas on how to integrate a swimming pool into your landscape or exterior home project with our Hardscaping 101: Swimming Pools guide.

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