Few homeowners give their pool builder a big clay model of the design they want. That's probably because there are few homeowners in the United States who build their dwellings in accordance with the design rules called sthapatya veda. But these homeowners live in Vedic City, Iowa, a town founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and populated by followers of the Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation movement. As part of the homeowners' belief system, there were specific design principals Pool Tech Midwest had to follow as they built this rectangular pool.

According to Rick Whiteaker, president of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based builder, the most noteworthy difference between this pool and most others is that it was built in the home's side yard because the design principals specify there can be no water in the backyard.

The reason the 15-foot-high artificial rock structure was incorporated into the design is a bit more universal: The homeowner wanted a pool like his brother's, except better, and his brother had an artificial rock structure, says Whiteaker.

This structure, also inspired by Hawaiian waterfalls, features a slide, a waterfall and a grotto with a spa inside.

The brother's pool also had a particular pool finish (it's a French gray), which this homeowner had to have, but he didn't know its name or brand. So Pool Tech Midwest flew to North Carolina to find out what kind of finish was used. "Every project has its own unique demands," says Whiteaker.

The pergola serves several purposes. It balances out the rock structure, adds some verticality to the space, and provides an area for entertaining. And the interlocking paver deck is not only durable, but it also complements the cream color of the home.