The owners wish to build an indoor pool house which will be a next-door vacation home in Madison, Alabama.
Estimated size: Approximately 48’ x 38’
Project timeframe: Design and planning: Q3, Q4 2013.
Construction begins: Q1, 2014.
Owners reside at 164 Foothill Court (FHC) and also own the ~1.2 acre lot next door at 168 FHC. Existing house at 164 FHC is approximately 34 years old but was completely remodeled in 2012. The existing house was built fairly close to the eastern edge of the lot. The two lots together are located at the west end of Foothill Court, which is located on the southeast end of Rainbow ‘Mountain’ in Madison, Alabama.
The property is heavily wooded with many kinds of hardwood. An abundance of Red Oak and Shag-Bark Hickory trees are found on the property, and the owners have intentionally left the majority of the property wild and undeveloped.
Foothill Court is a dead-end street that Google Street view didn’t even bother to drive down. The property is visible in Google Earth but it’s completely covered by trees (See attached photo). In the summer months, it’s nearly impossible to view a neighbor’s house, while in the winter months night-time views of Huntsville, including the rocket at the Space and Rocket Center are visible.
HE is a Structural Engineer that has developed structural engineering software for the past 24 years (for this project, please use Sketchup to create a 3d model. Revit may not be used at any point in the design). SHE is a Math tutor and stay at home Mom who plans to home school OUR DAUGHTER this year. Exposed structural truss(s) would be a plus.
The owner’s 14 year old daughter and the owner are avid backpackers to western US National Parks. In each of the past six years, they have hiked in a different National Park (Yosemite, Mt. Rainier, Denali, Rocky Mountains, Glacier, and Yellowstone). The owners very much wish the new construction to reflect the natural resources of the property (especially hickory), as well as maintain the wilderness look. The view from the existing home should reflect an appearance of a remote mountain retreat. The construction of the pool house should complement the existing home, therefore a 'log cabin' look and feel is most likely NOT desired. The boardwalk from the existing home to the pool house should have the look and feel of a National Park boardwalk (wide, simple, unstained and unlighted).
Access to the indoor pool house at 168 FHC will only be from the deck of 164 FHC, no driveway or street access will be constructed. During construction ALL access to 168 FHC will be through the fenced back yard of 164 FHC. This is to preserve the natural feel of the property. The two properties (164 and 168 FHC) are currently separate: the owners are open to legally joining the properties however, the benefits and/or city requirements are not yet known, so this is to be determined. It is hoped that the pool house will not be visible from the street (although nothing will be constructed to ensure this). Therefore, ‘curb appeal’ from the street is not important, while the view from the living room of 164 FHC is important.
As stated above, the view of the pool house from the living room of 164 FHC is important. The views of the pool house at night should be inviting and draw a person… if possible in the same way the allure of western US National Parks attract the owners.
One sentence project summary: A warm and natural-looking indoor pool/spa house.
• ~32’ x 16’ vinyl-liner pool (3.5’x6’ deep)
• ~12’ x 10’ spa: masonry constructed
• Small bathroom/changing room with shower
• Storage room for pool supplies and equipment
• Kitchenette/wet bar area
• Living area around pool for comfortable, indoor furniture (no patio furniture will be used).
• One sleeping room / bedroom, possibly a loft.
• Partial wrap-around deck at west end of pool house for grilling out, entertaining, viewing the woods.
• Many windows, sliding patio doors with screens.
• HVAC with dehumidifier, electrical, plumbing. A septic tank will most likely be required.
• Owner is very concerned about the moisture problems found in indoor pools, both due to the effect on construction, as well as the smells.
• Owners prefer in-slab duct-work, but understand the issues associated with such.
• Owners love southern facing skylights (11 in current home), but prefer no skylights in pool house due to moisture considerations. Should the design include skylights, owners would be happy, but skeptical. Note: the owners despise dark indoor pools.
• Stained concrete should be considered on the floors.
• Light-colored or naturally stained hickory wood decking should be considered on the walls and ceiling.
• Although the owner is a LEED-AP, this project will not attempt to achieve any LEED rating. Having said that,owners expect LEED provisions of local materials will be followed.
In all aspects, wilderness and freedom will be given top design priority.
The winning submittal will be selected based not only on a great overall functional design, but just as importantly one that focuses on:
1) Choice of materials and colors,
2) Choice of windows and window details,
3) Use of lighting – both interior and exterior, as well as IN the pool and spa.
4) Moisture control solutions.