Platinum Winner: Outdoor Living

Lewis Aquatech created an incredible outdoor space and enhanced a stunning view of the Potomac River.

November 30, 2008

Remodeler: Lewis Aquatech Chantilly, Va.

With a historic Frank Lloyd Wright home next door, a steep slope and the water nearby, reaching this site proved to be the biggest challenge for Lewis Aquatech in crafting this two-level, luxurious outdoor retreat along the Potomac River.
After photos by Morgan Inc.

Outdoor Luxury

The owner of this 46,000-square-foot home in suburban Virginia wanted to create an incredible outdoor space and enhance his stunning view of the Potomac River. With a steep slope from the river to the home 200 feet above and a site with limited access, Lewis Aquatech was facing a tough challenge.

Luckily, the company had recently completed a project in a similar setting only a block away. That experience impressed the owner and landed the job for Lewis Aquatech.

The homeowner wanted to have two terraces, with a top level featuring a small deck with a pool and a bottom level for entertaining large groups. On the upper terrace, Lewis Aquatech installed an infinity pool so the pool would blend directly into the view of the Potomac. French limestone was chosen for the decks and walls because its light color would keep it cooler underfoot during the summer. To make the terraces usable year-round, the company installed an intricate network of snow-melt systems.

Because of the layout of the site — nearby homes and the steep slope making access to the back nearly impossible — materials and tools had to be moved in non-traditional ways. Everything that could be was hand-carried around the sides of the house. Larger materials, including the slabs of limestone, had to be craned over the top of the home. Even the Bobcat skid-steer had to be moved over the house by crane.

“There was no way to drive to the left- or right-hand side of the house because of existing structures that were present and historic structures that were present,” says Principal Don Gwiz. “The logistics of scheduling all this was our biggest challenge.”

At the same time, the company was facing an aggressive timeline, with the owner wanting the project completed as quickly as possible.

“With all that, if we didn't have a well-organized site and didn't pre-plan, we never would have made this work,” Gwiz says.

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