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Joe DiPaulo Pools & Spas: Using Color as a Design Element (part 1)
The use of color is a key element in Joe DiPaulo's designer pools and spas. There are several sources for this color; the obvious ones are: the color of the natural rocks that he uses, the tile and coping, his surrounding landscaping, the grout, the pool's plaster surface and finish, his use of fire and the installation of underwater fiber optic lighting. But; there is another source of color which is one of my favorites - colored translucence glass blocks. The color effects from these translucent blocks can vary with intensity, ranging between 'subtle' and 'wild', as the sun makes it's daily arc from sunrise to sunset.
These blocks can also be positioned to reflect color off the water, which can create some stunning visual effects.
Lets look at some examples where Joe has been effective in using translucent blocks to create color. We will start with 'subtle' and end with 'wild'.
The first example below shows a set of 16 translucent blocks (10 are visible in the photo) embedded into a stone bench; the bench was adjacent to a spa.
The morning that I captured this photo we had just entered the homeowner's backyard with our camera equipment. It was 8 am and the sun was coming up over the horizon. As I looked towards this stone bench, I noticed that the sunlight passing through these blocks was creating a multicolored cast across the spa's stone deck. The effect was elusive. As the sun continued to rise, the colors lasted only a few minutes but long enough for me to appreciate beauty of this effect. Elusive discoveries can be precious!
This is a spa with a dome of inlaid translucent blocks. The three photos shown below: a) a view of the spa looking up at the dome, b) looking straight up at the dome with its inlaid translucent blocks, and c) the spa with the dome photographed from across the pool. As shown in the first photo, the sunlight passing through the blocks creates a reflection of color on the water surface.
Now are are approaching 'wild' :)
As shown in the photos below, Joe has created a spa dome almost entirely made of his translucent colored blocks. As sunlight passes through the blocks, colors are being reflected off the water and refracted off the spa surface below the water. In the first photo, as Barbara (the model) makes small movements, the water stirs causing the reflective colors to modulate across the water surface. The second photo is this same spa only shown from above. Sunlight is passing through the blocks causing color to simultaneously reflect off the water and refract off the spa surface below the water. The effect is unusual and very creative to say the least!
This is the same spa as shown in example #3 but with me inside the spa, with my camera and ultra wide angle lens just above the water surface. Barbara's is sitting to the left of me, shown only by her reflection to the right off the dome wall. Admittedly, the wide angle lens tends to distort the image. But ... this photo was not particularly hard to capture which speaks to what you might experience while sitting in this spa under this dome of colored translucent blocks - a rainbow environment of reflective/refractive color -- perhaps with your favorite glass of red wine :)
Below is a composite image of what it might look like to combine several of Joe's translucent block effects into a single spa or pool This would be really wild! Ha!
When I find the time I'll produce 'Part 2' with a focus on creating color using underwater fiber optic lighting.
Very cool. These glass blocks real add another dimension to the pool.
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