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April 16, 2018
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An Award-Winning Modern Pool House

nautilus poolhouse

Architect Chris Arelt recently won first place in the 2017 CTC&G Innovation & Design Awards for a structure here in Lyme. Intrigued and always nosey, I raced over to have a peek. After passing through a non-descript ranch (its reconstruction will be phase two of the project), I came upon a surprising and gloriously modern pool house. Long and narrow, crafted of concrete, steel, glass and stone, in a strict color palette of grey, silver and black, the pool house is an outdoor entertainer’s dream. Windows slide back to create an open-air pavilion in high summer, and the fireplace, kitchen and low-slung furnishings are cozy in wintertime. But here it’s all about the view to the cove, and the pool and house are sited to take the best advantage of it.

Well-executed details abound: an infinity edge links the pool to the waterscape vista, and a planting tier eliminates the need for railings. Custom sail shades provide relief from summer sun and evoke the sailboats in the cove.

The client/architect match was serendipitous. The owners had been searching the web for ideas and happened upon Chris’ work. Lucky for them, he was right here in Old Lyme. The collaboration was easy, as the owners and the architect were on the same page: a modern structure that seamlessly integrates the house and pool into the natural environment. For not-quite-instant gratification, they chose to build the pool house first and work back from the waterfront; having access to the outdoor elements while the second phase, the main house, was overhauled.

When I asked Chris what inspires his design, here’s what he had to say:

“I am inspired by the site.When a building is well-sited and designed around that, it feels as though it could not work anywhere else. That is clearly the case in this project.  Standing at the end of the terrace between pool and pool house, there is an exhilaration and a feeling that you are somewhere else, somewhere better.  That is the mark of a successful design and why I do this.”

 

See more of Chris Arelt’s work here: http://www.nautilusarchitects.com

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