Topanga, California: Hilltop haven

A natural watering hole on a hill

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Topanga, California: Hilltop haven

Perched above a canyon in Southern California, this boulder-edged pool is perfectly situated to take advantage of dramatic views.

Norm Plate

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Imagine: You're hiking in the Southern California hills above Topanga Canyon. The weather is hot and dry. Suddenly you come upon a pond you want to swim in, with a spectacular view of distant valleys and mountains.

For Ralph and Deborah Weiss, this isn't a fantasy, but a scene from their backyard swimming pool, designed by Nick Williams. Keeping the surrounding landscape in mind, Williams created a "natural watering hole" edged with boulders, flagstone, and native plants; a sandy beach entry adds to the illusion.

On the canyon side of the pool, an infinity edge, or drop-off, offers bathers an unobstructed view. "The pool integrates perfectly into the landscape," observed a juror.

DESIGNER: Nick Williams, Nick Williams & Associates, Tarzana, CA (818/996-4010)

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