The Family of Elements:
Water, Fire, Sound, Lighting & Earth
Architectural Blue Utah (ABU) has specialized in all aspects of water, fire, rockwork, and lighting elements since 2000. We are experts in incorporating special features into your pool and spa. These features are a great way to turn your pool into a show-stopping centerpiece, and it is that attention to detail that allows us to make a cohesive statement in your project. AUB knows the ins and outs of what works and what does not. We can help you get the best of two worlds—one during the day and a more dramatic one at night. All within your budget.
With today’s busy lifestyles, an increasing number of clients want to enjoy their outdoor living environments every minute of the day—even after dusk. “This means we have to consider a multitude of factors that only occur after dark, including safety considerations, the desired nighttime mood, and how to keep comfortable through weather and temperature changes” says Naylor. With proper lighting, heating, and a fire feature or two, your pool area can achieve a dramatic look while providing a cozy, people-friendly environment.
Adding water and fire features to a pool area greatly increases the relaxation factor of any environment. The sound of trickling or running water soothes the soul while staring at flickering flames relaxes the mind. Properly utilized, they enhance your pool and create visual and acoustic appeal.
A great pool design is often realized by the water within—its appearance, reflections, and how it refracts light and color. By adding a vertical element of moving water, the design can spring to life and almost become a work of art – and move water in astonishing ways. “What makes water features so appealing is that fluid motion,” says Naylor “They reflect sunlight in interesting ways – some have a prism effect while others create a clear mirror effect - it brings the waterscape to life”.
The Elements - Water
“What makes water features so appealing is that fluid motion,” says Naylor “They reflect sunlight in interesting ways – some have a prism effect while others create a clear mirror effect - it brings the waterscape to life”.
“It really is an art to get it right,” Naylor says. “In fact, after the feature is complete and turned on for the first time, we often spend several days fine-tuning the water’s flow to create the desired sound and look.”
Water - Sound
Sound and flow rate are critical to the mood a water feature will create. Rock waterfalls often produce a gushing sound to drown out ambient noise, while sheetfall waterfalls are quiet and ideal for waterside conversation. How the water enters the pool also has a big impact on sound and overall appearance. “It really is an art to get it right,” Naylor says. “In fact, after the feature is complete and turned on for the first time, we often spend several days fine-tuning the water’s flow to create the desired sound and look.”
"There is something magical about a waterscape at night. When the sun sets, a different vibe takes over —something special, more intriguing. Magical."
Water - Light
For a waterscape to truly shine, especially at night, proper lighting is critical. “Many clients don’t think of lighting in the planning,” Naylor says. “But you have to plan for that. Why go through the process of adding these features and not be able to show them off in the evening?”
Outdoor lighting techniques help to create a specific ambiance in your backyard, adding color, drama, and excitement to your environment. AB is expert at this and will begin by studying the clients’ outdoor space and determining the best method of producing the perfect nighttime experience—starting with safety. Proper lighting provides guests with a sense of well-being, which is why the right amount of lights along paths, steps, and around the pool itself is imperative.
From up lighting the surrounding landscaping to artfully placing in-pool LEDs, lighting plays a key role in your outdoor environment. “Award-winning lighting design requires thought and strategically placing fixtures throughout the pool and gathering area,” says Naylor, “Certain areas of the waterscape allow for the WOW factor – and enhance the other amenities found throughout the outdoor space. LED lighting and colored lens on specific elements put your project on another visual level altogether.”
Secondly, by incorporating lighting into the waterscape, AB is able to create a mood—romantic, playful, or whatever the homeowner desires. Today’s computerized systems allow that mood to change to suit the occasion.
"Fire elements are a perfect evening lighting option – offering illumination while warming the body and the soul. What could be more welcoming to your family and guests after an evening swim?"
Water - Fire
The reflection of an open fire on the surface of the water can be quite mesmerizing. Fire features range from the simple addition of sconces to a fire bar or fire bowl. Each type offers its own charm, and each has the ability to transform a nighttime soiree into an unforgettable experience.
When lit, they transport viewers to another place and time. Used with water, these features give the setting a dramatic yet welcoming look and feel – adding another dimension of light to sculptures or other art.
Evenings are often the best time to enjoy a backyard poolscape. When organized and implemented properly, the use of lights and fire can magically transform an outdoor setting into a nighttime dream. Fire elements are a perfect evening lighting option – offering illumination while warming the body and the soul. What could be more welcoming to your guests after an evening swim?