“It was the most challenging feature of the entire house,” says architect and owner Craig Mason of the reflecting pool that abuts a study/nap niche off of the living room, “but it's also the one thing that everyone comments on.” Mason made sure the pool lined up squarely with a cedar-framed view of Puget Sound so that to someone lying on the fold-down guest bed the pool appears to merge directly with the Sound below. Dark blue, 1-by-1-inch tiles ensure that the 8-foot-wide by 15-foot-long by 18-inch-deep pool is highly reflective. The southeast exposure captures sunlight that dances on the water all day. The home's corrugated steel walls enhance the light reflection and create playful patterns that move across the living room from morning to late afternoon. The hard part entailed getting the water to spill through an end spout at a rate that would create the sound Mason wanted to trickle through the house, yet maintain the meditative calm of a glassy surface. “There are formulas and calculations that I didn't know,” admits Mason. “You have to get the right depth and volume of water to flow over the weir to generate the desired effect, but also to not burn out the pump or kill your electric bill.” With the help of builder Mike Fisher and a lot of trial and error, he was able to achieve that effect.
Builder: Mike Fisher Construction, Bainbridge Island, Wash.; Architect: Craig Mason, Seattle; Photographer: Chris J. Roberts.