This pergola was added to a raised spa and pool design during construction as there was a need to provide a vertical element to the classical rectangular pool and a desire to provide a sense of enclosure to the rear yard landscaping of a suburban quarter acre lot.
Its classical style complements the craftsman style of the home. The home already made use of Tuscan style columns at porches to support roof elements and the pergola columns delivered another opportunity to repeat this theme in a different context.
At first the vision was for four columns but a breakthrough came in the form of eight columns as repeating elements. Designing using computer modeling was instrumental in this breakthrough.
The interior four columns have central steel posts bolted to concrete footings to provide lateral stability. The wood is Western Red Cedar with resawn texture. The wood finish is a transparent pigmented green stain. The colored concrete Tuscan columns with true entasis were provided by Concrete Designs Inc. Tucson AZ. The concrete is left unsealed.
During construction another “aha” moment occurred when it was time to place the 26 foot long main beams. The issue was which way to set the crown of the beams? A good carpenter knows to always set beams crown up, but this did not seem right. I had remembered seeing a program on PBS about the Parthenon, and remembered that the horizontal lines were not really straight and at the base actually curved up at the ends. So, going against everything I had learned in over 30 years of carpentry I decided to try a reverse crown and since we were setting the beams by hand with a three man crew, I took a leap of faith and shaped the beam ends and beams once. Perfect.