We were first introduced to these new home owners by former clients who had hired us previously to design and develop a master plan including pool and cabana for their property in Tewksbury Twp.
This new lot was carved out from a former farm property and was mostly flat with the exception of a depressed area along one side of the lot made up of mostly wetlands. The views to the rear of the property looked out over an expansive meadow lined with mature trees and a new home was in the process of being built just over the property line to the west.
Because the owners were swimmers, they requested that a slightly oversized pool (50′ long x 25′ wide) be included in their master plan. In addition, they wanted the plan to include a cabana with a bathroom, kitchen for entertaining, and an attached pergola to shade a grill area and dining table. They also wanted the cabana to contain a storage space for keeping furniture and pool accessories over the winter.
One of our first priorities was to locate the pool and cabana on the flattest portion of the property. Doing this would keep the impact to the existing topography to a minimum, while keeping costs down. This location takes full advantage of the views out to the meadow toward the rear of the property.
To meet code requirement, the pool needed to be enclosed with a continuous fence, and we felt it important to provide a solution that didn’t call attention to itself. Due to openness of the property, we were equally concerned the fence would isolate the pool area from the rest of the yard, something we refer to as the “birdcage effect”. One solution we entertained was to propose fencing the entire rear portion of the property, but this proved to be cost prohibitive.
Ultimately, the best solution was fencing in a section of the yard which would incorporate the cabana footprint and new plant massings into the fence line. With this approach, we reduced the impact of the fence visually, while keeping the view between the house and pool open and barrier free. Any fencing still visible was then enclosed with a living hedge which eliminated views of the fence almost entirely.
Surrounding the pool on two sides is a continuous bluestone patio which runs throughout the cabana and pergola. Opposite the cabana is a lawn area containing two 8’x8′ bluestone panels which support lounge chairs, small tables and umbrellas. A wood burning fire pit was placed on the pool center line at the far end of the bluestone patio so guests can watch sparks float across a scarlet sky at sunset.
We located the cabana so that it acted as a visual buffer to the new house being built close to the property line to the west. Large evergreens were planted behind the cabana along the property line to add additional screening, and to help visually soften the line between the properties.
At the rear of the house, off the basement walk-out, we designed a patio area to act as overflow space for entertaining. This space includes a gas fire pit and seating area. From here, bluestone step stones and a stairway provide a path which leads to the pool area and deck area off the kitchen at the back of the house. Included in the property master plan is a new driveway and front entrance landing and walkway