Bergen County, NJ Landscape Architecture Office Wins 2013 Best Pool Design

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Landscape Architecture Office of Cipriano Landscape Design Wins Best Design Award for the Luxury Glass Tile and Fiber Optic Violin Swimming Pool - Bergen County, NJ

Landscape Architecture Glass Tile Pool Design Bergen County NJ

The difficulties that the Cipriano Landscape Design Architecture office encountered where unlike any other experienced before in the luxury pool industry, yet through it all they prevailed, and the finished product is truly breathtaking.

On October 18, 2013, the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA), bestowed several awards of excellence to the top pool designers in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, who exhibited ingenuity and innovation in the design and implementation of custom swimming pools within the past year. This year, the Landscape Architecture division of Bergen County, NJ’s, Cipriano Landscape Design, won the coveted “Best Of Competition” Award, which celebrated their incredible feat in designing a 1700’s era Stradivarius violin replica pool, in Bedford, NY.

The Cipriano Landscape Design's Architecture office faced extraordinarily challenging obstacles during the designing stages of the Bedford, NY violin pool. William Moore, Cipriano’s primary NJ Landscape Architect, has had more than 15 years of experience designing intricate pools and landscapes, and explained that what made the violin pool so tough to design, was the fact that it had to be shaped into the exact parameters of a violin—a very recognizable item. Moore explained that “when a pool has free form, it is treated as something that has it’s own identity, and as such can be altered to fit as needed. The violin shape however, is comprised of complex curves and corners that must match a violin shape exactly, and they must be completely symmetrical on both the left and right sides of the pool.” The pool was designed with every detail of the Stradivarius, including the chinrest, strings, a tail piece, f-holes, purfling, and a bridge. To take it a step further, the violin pool houses within it three separate bodies of water: the pool itself, a perimeter overflow spa designed as the chinrest of the violin, along with the bow which straddles the neck of the violin, which is designed as two koi ponds.

The entire violin pool was finished in nearly half a million individual translucent glass tiles, which were designed in a unique 4-way gradient pattern. Generally, a gradient color blend of glass tiles only transitions in one direction from a centerline, going either north and south or east and west. The glass tiles in the violin pool however, are a custom designed gradient blend that transitions in every direction. In order to attain this noteworthy result, Cipriano’s Landscape Architecture office along with the tile manufacturer assigned gradient values to the sheets of tile, which were then numbered from 1-15 based on the gradient transition. They then had to map out in Auto Cad every single sheet of tile on the pool floor, in order to ensure that there was a consistent color transition from the center of the pool to the various distances of the pool walls.

The “strings” of the violin that run down the center of the pool floor are comprised of jet-black translucent tiles that demarcate the lap lanes during the day, while the fiber optics continue to do so at night. The strings are interlaced with 5760 strands of fiber optics, which beautifully illuminate the strings at night. The infrastructure design of the fiber optics was also quite detailed, as there were 2 rows of 18 conduits installed prior to steel and gunite, which ran evenly down the center of the pool. The conduits came up through the pool floor within the proposed gradient tile design, which allowed space to weave the strands within the joints of the tile. The strings were three tiles wide, and every other row had three fiber strands. The interweaving of the glass tiles together with the fiber optics while still maintaining the exterior aesthetic beauty was astonishingly complex, but well worth the effort.

The NJ landscape architecture office also designed a fiber optic rope lighting detail that illuminates the entire perimeter of the violin pool. The rope lighting (350 feet of fiber optics), are lit by two, 150 watt illuminators. The fiber optic rope was also designed to be countersunk beneath the coping in order to conceal it from those swimming in the pool.

The 12-person perimeter overflow spa is located on the “chinrest” of the violin, is finished entirely in jet-black glass tiles, and boasts its own LED lighting which is separate the pool’s fiber optic lighting. It is a “perimeter overflow spa,” which means that the water within the spa conveys the illusion that the water is infinitely flowing over all of the edges into both the pool on one side, and the patio stone on the other. In all actuality however, the water “overflowing” from the spa is being collected in a discreet trough, and is re-circulated back into the spa. A creative use of the violin chinrest with this difficult element of design made this one-of-a-kind project even more dynamic.

The musically inspired design of the violin and the homeowner’s enjoyment of koi, evolved into the integration of the “bow” of the violin as two ponds that intersect the neck of the violin pool. These ponds are filled with numerous koi fish, which can project the illusion of swimming together in the pool to the underwater swimmer through two acrylic panels. The pond was further designed with multiple platforms in order to hold lily pads, water irises, and various other aquatic plants. This ensured that the view of the ponds from outside the pool would be very aesthetically pleasing, just as looking at the ponds through the acrylic panels from inside the pool would be. After dark this connection is even more incredible with the bather able to view the 250 twinkling fiber optic star-lights on the floor of the pond from inside the pool.                        

Incorporating the acrylic viewing panels was quite challenging due to a large variety of skilled craftsman having to work together at precisely the same time. Once the forms were set, the steel reinforcement had to be mounted, concrete then needed to be applied to form the window casing, then waterproofing measures were installed, followed by having tile and pond surfacing applied up to the edge of the window. The coordination had to be impeccable in order for the installation to take place successfully, and ultimately, it was.

Overall, installing the aforementioned features were only a few of the challenges that were triumphantly overcome by the Cipriano Landscape Architects design team. The difficulties they encountered where unlike any other experienced before in the luxury pool industry, yet through it all they prevailed, and the finished product is truly breathtaking. The Bedford, NY, violin pool also won NESPA’s Gold award for “Glass Tiled Pools,” the “Peoples Choice Award,” as well as the “Best in Competition Award” for its innovative design, and stunning results.

Celebrating over 24 years in business, 14-time international award winner Cipriano Landscape Design distinguishes themselves from all other swimming pool & landscaping companies with their extensive experience. The Mahwah, NJ company provides more than just a pool installation. As a recognized national leader in custom residential & commercial landscaping, masonry, swimming pools and water features, the NJ firm has been offering complete estate transformations since 2001. With a design office headed by 15-year-veteran, Certified Landscape Architect William Moore, the Cipriano team has won 75 awards of excellence since 2006 and in 2013 was named By Pool And Spa News to the “Top 50 Pool Builders.”

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Chris Cipriano
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