Article by P.J. Bremier, for Marin Magazine
Photos by Lee Anne White
WISHFUL THINKING CAN pay off when you plan the pool of your dreams.
An offhand comment from a Kentfield homeowner prompted Warren Simmonds, principal of San Anselmo’s Simmonds and Associates Landscape Architecture, to design that client a surprise.
Simmonds proposed to tuck an 85-foot-long slide into the property’s hillside, complete with four twists — two of them hairpin turns — that would swiftly conduct swimmers through a subtropical landscape before depositing them, with a splash, into a renovated 20-by-40-foot pool finished in Tahoe Blue plaster.
“My client thought it would be cool to put a slide there, but he really didn’t think it could be done,” Simmonds says. So Simmonds promptly came up with three designs, one of them featuring a spa and a slide. Fortunately for the fun-loving client, that design won.
The landscape architect installed a commercial-grade, fiberglass slide made by a water park supplier. He says such slides are so well engineered they can handle adults and even groups of children who want to slide down together. Stairs on either side of the pool ascend to the top of the slide, where feet can be quickly rinsed off in a concrete basin with a foot-activated valve before the next ride.
Proper topography is essential for a good slide, Simmonds says. “You have to have the right amount of slope, and the slide length is determined by the steepness of the slope. The steeper the slope, the more twists and turns you can add, and that makes it more fun because you can’t see what’s around the corner.”