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“We wanted to see what would work on a hill, in front of the house.
With that in mind we came up with a retaining wall…. (And) you might
have water going over it….”
BY SARAH CASH
Special to The Observer
It matters not whether Tom Carlisle is out on his deck on Lake
Wylie. Passers-by hail him even if he’s indoors. Boaters swing by,
honk their horns and yell, “Turn n the waterfall!”
Water from his pool slips over the lip of a 16-foot –high rock wall
and flows down as if it’s tumbling into the lake.
Even neighbors across the lake from his River Hills house, who see
the pool regularly, enjoy the dramatic show. Come over and see it
from this side, they say to Carlisle and his wife, Elizabeth. And
Artesian Pools of Charlotte, which built the pool, last year won a
silver plaque in the “vanishing edge” category, in international
competition sponsored by the National Spa and Pool Institute.
If you’re viewing the pool from the Carlisle home of from boats on
the lake, water spilling over the lip obscures the lip, thus a
vanishing edge. After the water falls into a smaller pool, it’s
pumped up through the filter system and the process continues.
The pool was the second one that Rod Worthington of Artesian Pools
built for the Carlisle family.
“We wanted it long enough to use as a lap pool’” Tom Carlisle said.
“We wanted to see what would work on a hill, in front of the house
(lakeside)….With that in mind we
SEE VANISHING 7E
Unique pool draws oohs, ahs
Vanishing from 1E
Came up with a retaining wall…. (And) you might have water going
“We’d suggest what we wanted, and hen he (Worthington) would listen
to us. He was great to work with.”
Carlisle had seen vanishing-edge pools in Mexico and California and
urged Worthington to enter the contest. Worthington completed the
24-by-58 foot pool in 2000, but didn’t enter until last year.
“There were more than 100 entries in my category, ‘vanishing edge’
from all over the world” Worthington said. “I entered five color
photos, which I took with my Kodak camera. I enlarged them to
8-by-12 prints on my computer. In my 27 years of business. Designing
and building hundreds of pools, this one is the most unique.”
Assisting in the design were Dwight Holland, an Asheboro artist and
sculptor, and Mike Novik, a Charlotte-area home designer.
The steep lot was challenging, with its sharp drop-off to the lake.
Now it’s enhanced with huge boulders (real and artificial). “We
brought in 34 truckloads of rock for the base,” Worthington said.
When the Carlisles moved into their renovated contemporary stucco
home in River Hills the site of the pool was sparsely planted with
Now’ the landscape is dotted with smaller trees, perennial
plantings, rhododendron and azaleas. On either side of the
four-bedroom house is a common area of natural woodlands, providing
seasonal color and privacy. Carlisle said the pool area is the
center of the family’s outdoor
living. The loggia, more than 40 feet long, includes comfortable
outdoor seating, plus built-in stainless
grill, sink, refrigerator
and ice maker. There’s a separate cabana with vaulted natural wood
ceiling over a three-sided bar.
There’s an outdoor fireplace near the jetted spa, from which water
flows into the pool.
Two of the smaller “boulders” built into the rock wall hide speakers
that are connected to the home’s communications system.
The Carlisles’ children, Lindsay, 14 and Clay, 12 swim almost every
day until November. (The pool is heated.) The Carlisles have
entertained as many as 500 people on the pool deck. “We really enjoy
it out here,” Carlisle said.
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