Design by Chuck Gale
It takes an experienced eye to see the full potential of any piece of property, and for a landscape designer, it sometimes helps if those eyes are blessed with x-ray vision. The clients wanted to add a swimming pool in the rear of their historic home, designed in 1928 by Philadelphia architect Wilson Eyre. Unfortunately, the ground sloped up in several directions, leaving no apparent level area for this desired feature.
The clients expected that some part of this slope would have to be carved out and leveled to accommodate the pool, but they didn’t expect Chuck Gale to suggest that they use the steepest ground in one corner of the backyard. As built, the pool now sits about ten feet below the original grade. A high stone wall on one side and a two-story pool house (designed by Spence Kass) at one end, as well as its placement about three feet lower than the surrounding grade, give the pool area a sense of privacy and seclusion. While it might have been simpler to site the pool elsewhere on the property, this particular location placed it near the family room and kitchen, with the adjoining terrace and gardens “creating a fantastic nexus between the pool and the house,” the clients say. “One thing we love about Chuck is that he thinks outside the box. He thinks in three dimensions.”