Pool and spa projects don't win national awards by luck. Certain projects stand out from the rest aesthetically, structurally and functionally, as is the case with this project, which recently won Gold in the NSPI International Awards of Excellence.

Located in Dallas, Texas, this pool exudes all the properties of an award-winning pool and spa - from the numerous water fountains spilling into the awaiting pool, to the extra effort put forth in designing the pool to match its owners' unique home.

The project began with a trip through the home. "We walked into the home and couldn't help but notice the grand entrance with 40-foot-high ceilings," says Scott Moneta, VP of sales for Leisure Living Pools, Frisco, Texas. "There's a window perfectly symmetrical to the front door. Right then we came up with the idea to create an imaginary axis to run through the front door, through the windows and to the swimming pool."

Because there are so many windows stretching along the rear of the home, the builder specifically designed the pool longer (50 feet) to be sure it was viewable from any vantage point within the home. Undoubtedly the aspect of the pool given the most attention are the stunning fountains cascading down ridges of limestone.

"We had experimented with terraced spillways numerous times, but what made this project unique is the 2-inch thick limestone stacked one piece on top of the other," says Moneta. "We had a stone mason form each spillway by hand.

"There's a huge burden on the installation of the stone material because of the length of the spillway (45 feet). The stone has to be perfectly level. If it's not, the mistake will be exposed because more water will spill in from one end than the other."

Another challenge was one this builder experiences with every project - the soil in Texas. Moneta likens the soil to that found in Africa, with various mixes of dirt and clay. Because of this, special caution was needed in order to be sure the pool was structurally sound. To do this, the builder drilled numerous 12-inch deep holes in the soil beneath the pool. Steel tubes were then placed in the holes and filled with concrete. According to Moneta, this process provides the pool with chair legs for the pool so if the ground swells, there's added stability.

Once the pool was finished, the rest of the masterpiece was laid down - complete with patterned concrete, a huge walkway surrounding the back of the property, and a pool deck.