Outdoor Oases

From a boathouse or a Greek Temple to pool houses and tennis hideouts, designers and architects create luxurious places to escape… in your own backyard

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As the architectural firm on this project, did you encounter unique challenges with designing or siting this structure?
The pool and pool house are both sited near a wetland on the property. Because the pool house was designed so that mechanical equipment would be stored in the basement, special attention was paid to waterproofing. Also, landscape architect Debbie Nevins had a goal to site the pool house perfectly on center with a great, old tree in the backyard. We worked closely with Debbie’s office in order to mesh her vision for the terrace with the design of the pool house.

What were the specific requests by the homeowner for this space?
The clients requested an entertaining space near the pool with changing room, bathroom and cooking functions. One pavilion houses the changing room and bathroom; the other contains a small kitchen. A large outdoor barbecue shares the wall behind the fireplace.

Was the pool already installed when you designed the pool house?
They were created together and much care was taken to integrate the pool, the concealed pool cover, and the terrace paving so that from the pool, to the terrace, and back to the house all the components fit together seamlessly.

What are the elements that make a pool house a functional and elegant space?
In addition to the kitchen, barbecue, changing room and bathroom, it is a covered exterior space with a large fireplace and outdoor heaters to extend outdoor enjoyment into the early fall.

Does the architectural style of this building reflect the style of the main house on the property?
Yes, the architectural detailing, materials (stucco and half-timbering) and color palette reflect the main house.

The color palette works both inside and out. How was it developed?
The exterior palette (including the seating area) comes from the main house. The main house, originally white stucco with black half-timbering, was redesigned several years before. The team of Ferguson & Shamamian, interior designer Bunny Williams and Debbie Nevins chose the celadon and rose palette to soften the contrast. Debbie recalled the rose color from a house designed by the English architect Charles Voysey.

What were some of your firm’s favorite materials used in this structure?
We don’t often get the opportunity to work with stucco and half-timbering, so these provided an interesting change.


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