A successful project must achieve a see-saw balance between client's desires on one side, and a client's resources on the other. If the plan gets heavy on the features side, the cost side rises too high for the customer to clamber on board.

This geometric gem perched on the shores of Lake Michigan is a case in point.

"The project began three years prior to construction with a list of features the clients wanted to have in their pool," says builder Michael Paré of Blue Water Pools, in Grand Rapids.

"Upon review of the list we had to notify the client that we could not build a pool with the features he wanted unless he doubled his budget. We worked through alternatives over and over again, year after year, making design changes each time until we came up with a design that met our budget requirements and gave them the features that were the most important to them."

Bringing the project to launch was simply a matter of bringing the see-saw into equilibrium, with features and costs aligned in the same level plane. And after working out the right combination of features to match the clients' funds, Paré had to find agreement with the rustic beauty of the pool's Lake Michigan setting. This he did with the pool's stonework at the foot of the log home, and a vanishing edge that fades into the deeper waters of a Great Lake.

With client and builder seeing eye-to-eye, and a design to make the new construction comfortable in its surroundings, a 42-by-60-foot gunite pool took shape, complete with a 25-foot glass wall and sit-up bar. Structural soundness was paramount, Paré says, because of the overall size and the necessity to have zero differential settling. For this reason, the pool was engineered with the unusually high safety factor of 3.0.

Keeping the water clean is a Jandy Salt Water Purification System on the pool and catchpool, and DE filtration throughout. The surface is Aquavations' Hydrazzo from CLI Industries, a polished blend of white marble aggregate, white Portland cement, graded color aggregate and other ingredients, and 12 Jandy color LED lights brighten the northern evenings at the owners' command via Jandy controls.

Most projects have an aspect that the builder is particularly partial to; Paré likes the gathering areas below the main pool and their water-crossing access.

"I think that the walkway that runs across the pool to get to the Lake Michigan beach, sit-up bar, dance floor and sunken firepit are such a unique part of the design," he says. "It's truly an entertainment place for the client."

Blue Water Pools

Grand Rapids, Mich..www.paragonpools.netCategory: Concrete pool or pool/spa combo

Submit your pool project for the 2012 Aqua Choice Awards at www.aquamagazine.com. Deadline is Oct. 1.

Scott Webb is Executive Editor of AQUA Magazine.