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August 2006


FEATURE

Water's New Edge
By Katherine Lagomarsino
Photographs by Robert Grant, James Scott, Chichi Ubiña and courtesy Drakeley Pools and James Doyle Design Associates

WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF NEW STYLES AND MATERIALS, THE BACKYARD POOL HAS EVOLVED INTO A WORK OF ART

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The backyard pool has been moving in a slow, purposeful direction that might best be described as Darwinian. They've become longer and narrower for a sleeker appearance. They've shed railings, fiberglass slides and yes, even diving boards, resulting in a shallower bottom. They've sprouted underwater speakers, fiber optic lighting and even automatic pool covers that can be unfurled with a Blackberry. Aside from a few unfortunate glitches along the way—above-ground eyesores and cheap vinyl lining—pools have evolved into beautiful, user-friendly luxuries.

So, what has been prompting this change?

"People are traveling more and they're seeing pools in other areas that are more sophisticated," says James Scott of Group Works, a pool design firm in Wilton. He also says the array of materials available for pool construction rivals the variety of those available when building a house. When it comes to decking, options go far beyond local bluestone, brick and granite.

"We have a client in Westport who is using what we call Getty Stone, the remnants of the stone used in the Getty Museum in California," Scott says. "The stone was originally from Italy and was then shipped here from California."

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