Do Landscape Architects Design Pools?

Backyard in massachusetts with a pool and lawn designed by a landscape architect

Landscape architects are ubiquitous with glorious public spaces.  The work of Frederick Law Olmsted for example, Central Park in NYC, the Emerald Necklace in Boston, truly stunning work.  Less known but also appreciated work of landscape architects can be seen in just about any new commercial development.  The placement of traffic islands, trees and shrubs make the shopping centers and mixed use developments of today a much more pleasant experience than the asphalt wastelands of the 70’s and 80’s.  Likewise, most grand estates with well programmed outdoor spaces are the result of landscape architects at work.  But what about your house?  Will any landscape architects work on everyday residences?  Do landscape architects design pools?

Do Landscape Architects Design Pools?

Landscape architects design many elements of a backyard and yes, pools are one of them. The landscape architect will design your pool and in some cases, they will even handle the process of finding and managing the pool builder that will then construct the pool.

Why To Use A Landscape Architect Vs. Pool Builder

Your first reaction when you consider putting a pool in is often to choose the pool builder directly.  Maybe solicit a few ‘bids’ and go with the one you find the most fair and reasonable.  When you build a pool this way, you are leaving it up to chance that the pool builder knows what they’re doing in relation to drainage, grading, and spacial programming. 

In the northeast, it’s not uncommon for a pool builder to try and ‘sell’ the pool without even considering the patio around the pool. They don’t focus on how it ties back into the residence.  They want you ‘under contract’ without figuring out the whole project.  This is a huge mistake and can make a massive impact on your backyard environment.

Why Do Landscape Architects Design Pools?

By focusing on the pool only, you ignore what you will be using the pool for in the first place.  Pools are most often enjoyed from the patio surrounding them.  If you ignore this programmatic fundamental and go straight to a pool builder, you will often fail to realize the possibility of your backyard environment. 

For this reason, starting with a pool builder is not always the right way to go about building a pool. You may find yourself shopping for a landscape designer or landscape architect.  A landscape architect and designer will approach the design of your pool and hardscape from the perspective of the whole project, not just the pool itself.

What Else Do Landscape Architects Design?

Plants are what often first come to mind when considering a landscape designer and landscape architect.  Plants, while important, are not the only aspect a landscape design professional will consider.  By approaching the project from a holistic point of view, plants are only a piece of the puzzle which must be assembled for each distinct project along with the hardscape, pool, spa, backyard living, outdoor kitchen, and the access points to the house itself.  

Do landscape architects design pools explained

Do Landscape Architects Design Pools Summary

So, do landscape architects design pools?  Yes they do, but only as a part of a greater program of your total backyard environment.  Hiring a landscape architect can cost from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.  Don’t let this discourage you from hiring one though.  Interview a few landscape architects, and be open about asking about fee structures and what you should expect to pay for their services.  Also ask about what the phases of design are and the time frame for each phase.