Working with Nature

The Paul Masson Estate

Artisan Home Resorts was commissioned to build an infinity edge pool for the owners of the historic Paul Masson Estate in collaboration with prominent ​​architect Glen Fries. This project allowed us to feature our architectural ingenuity, ability to work alongside nature, and display our meticulous craftsmanship.

The estate was originally designed to pay homage to Masson’s home in France. It is also recognized for the former winery production as marketed by Orson Welles in the “We will sell no wine before it’s time” campaign. The project was planned in a way that would honor and highlight the historic elements of the property, while rejuvenating the look and feel of the landscape and pool.

The defining characteristic of the Paul Masson Estate project was its stunning infinity edge pool. This feature extends the perceived size of the outdoor space by visually blending the pool into the horizon.

The water spills gently over the infinity edge into a catch basin to efficiently recycle the water. We also created a special niche to hide the pool’s cleaning system under a stone that camouflages it and hides it from view. This pool also incorporates a modern feature with an integrated swim machine. A remote control allows the swimmer to select the intensity of the current, allowing the user to enjoy a mild, medium, or high intensity workout.

The retaining walls around the pool and spa also contribute to the infinity pool’s unique aesthetic. The concrete was poured using special forms that leave a wood grain impression on the surface. This effect was created by using real boards to stamp the concrete, creating the effect of old wine barrel wood.

The massive 10-foot spa was originally designed with stucco on the exterior walls. We updated it with a vertical tile chosen to complement the stamped concrete retaining walls. This required careful removal and replacement of the original Connecticut blue stone coping of the spa walls. Not one was broken because at Artisan Home Resorts, we pride ourselves on working with only the most skilled craftsmen.

Another notable aspect of the Paul Masson Estate project is the sloping yard and the requirement to preserve the property's majestic oak trees. Hillside pool design requires additional planning and engineering expertise. Protecting the trees is important to the community, the municipality, the property owner and to us.

This location of the pool on the property was selected to incorporate as many of the estate’s century-old oak trees as possible. The beauty of the natural surroundings created a fascinating contrast with the clean simplicity of the pool and spa design.

This integration of nature, the pool, and the landscape architecture was well worth the additional effort.

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