Landscape &  Glass Tile Swimming Pool Design:

A collaborative effort of Chris Cipriano, Keith Steinhoff, Dan Shea and William Moore, Licensed NJ Landscape Architect of Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping.

Glass Tile Swimming Pool & Landscape Construction:

Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping.

Natural Stone Masonry Construction:

Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping.


A custom built glass tile pool that replicating a 1700’s era Stradivarius violin would be implemented in the client’s back yard.


Glass Tile • Best Pool Design • Fiber Optic Lights

Bergen County NJ – Music Themed Violin Glass Tile Pool Earns Cipriano Landscape Design “Best Pool Design.” The Pool Features Glass Tile & Fiber Optic Lighting.

The homeowner desired a unique swimming pool that would reflect his fondness of playing and collecting violins.

Within the luxury outdoor design and build industry, the most important opinion is always that of the homeowner. Homeowners, with different interests and backgrounds, often want to see their individual tastes reflected in their pools and landscape designs. Even so, we were a bit surprised when our client, who is both an amateur violin player and collector, came to us with the idea of building a pool in the shape of a Stradivarius violin. The client, upon realizing his dream could be a reality, soon wanted more than just a violin shaped pool. He wanted an exact replica in scale of a 1700s era Stradivarius violin with all of its detail and intricacies. The client’s enthusiasm and drive for perfection, paired with Cipriano’s years of experience in building custom pools led to one of the most complex pool designs and installations within the whole design and build industry.

Violin Glass Tile Pool With Custom Features:

  • 12-person perimeter overflow spa, with independent LED lighting.
  • 2 fish filled koi-ponds, built to resemble the “bow” of the violin, are visible to swimmers via 2 transparent acrylic panels, and are outfitted with 250 fiber optic star-lights.
  • Nearly half a million translucent glass tiles designed with a unique 4-way gradient pattern.
  • Fiber optic rope lighting detail that illuminates the entire periphery of the pool.
  • Violin strings represented by 5760 strands of fiber optic lighting, which glow beautifully at night and can be synchronized with music playing externally.
  • Riverflow jet system capable of creating a 2000 gallon/minute current that is strong enough to kayak or swim against.
  • 1,000,000 BTU heater makes year round use of the pool and spa enjoyable.
  • Wireless technology allows the homeowner to adjust any pool settings and landscape utilities directly from an iPhone.
  • Underwater audio system makes listening to music possible while swimming laps or playing underwater.

The goal of this swimming pool design was to meet the client’s precise wishes by creating an exact replica of a 1700s era Stradivarius violin. All of the violin attributes were accounted for including purlflings, f-holes, a bridge, strings, a tailpiece, and a chinrest.

The beautiful finish of the violin pool is made up of nearly 500,000 translucent glass tiles that shimmer across the floor and sides of the pool. Typically gradient tile patterns transition in one direction, or possible two if they are transitioning outward from a centerline. Unique to the violin pool, however, the tiles were blended to transition in a 4 way gradient pattern. To accomplish this feat, the Cipriano Landscape Architecture Office collaborated with the tile manufacturer to assign a numeric value to each sheet of tile from 1-15, based that particular sheet’s gradient transition. Using a design program AutoCad, the Cipriano Landscape Architecture team was then able to carefully plan out the location of every single sheet of tile to ensure that the gradient pattern would transition perfectly to the numerous curves and corners of the organically shaped violin pool. Experienced Cipriano tile setters at the site were then able to precisely follow the AutoCad plan making sure that the finished product would look perfect. This challenging endeavor was accomplished through the Cipriano team recognizing a need for collaboration and their careful attention to detail in the planning phase before construction even began.

The 4 violin “strings” running down the center of the pool, are composed of jet-black translucent glass tiles, and functionally are intended to be used as lap lanes. The tiles themselves are intertwined with 5760 strands of fiber optics that illuminate the lap lanes at night. Properly interweaving strands of fiber optic lighting with glass tiles required extensive foresight, and the ability to simplify a complex design. Prior to the gunite and steel installations of the pool shell, a well thought out detail was followed in order to meet the design requirements, while also maintaining the integrity of the structure. Through proper preparation gained from years of experience, a complex problem was turned into an elegant and functionally finished product.

350 feet of fiber optic rope lighting was also installed to illuminate the entire boundary of the pool. The skilled masons at Cipriano were able to countersink the fiber optic rope beneath the coping of the pool, obscuring it from the vision of swimmers while still allowing the aura emitting from lights to be seen.

The owner’s affection for koi, inspired the design team to incorporate two koi ponds seamlessly into the violin theme. The koi ponds represent the “bow” of the violin, which transect the “neck” of the violin. The two ponds were crafted with numerous platforms, devised to flaunt water irises, lily pads, and other aquatic plants, for those viewing the ponds from outside of the pool. Inside the pool, the koi fish are viewable through two transparent acrylic panels. Once the sun sets, 250 glimmering fiber-optic star-lights make their appearance and create a lighting spectacle.

The acrylic panels were quite difficult to properly install, as they required the coordination of a variety of distinctly skilled craftsmen. A synchronized effort, which required numerous individuals and machines to work in nearly perfect harmony, ultimately was successful.

The “chinrest” of the violin is actually a 12-person perimeter overflow spa finished entirely in jet-black glass tiles. The “perimeter overflow” aspect of the spa means that the water emanating from the spa will endlessly spill over, or “overflow” the sides of the spa. The water spills directly into the pool on one side, and is captured in a trough beneath the coping of the patio on the other. The trough is connected directly to the pool, and the water is re-circulated from the pool into the spa without any loss. The transformation of the “chinrest” into this useful and relaxation-inducing spa was an ingenious and graceful way of representing one aspect of the Stradivarius violin.

Landscape and Planting Design Features:

  • Boxwood hedge “stem design” provides a green backdrop for colorful plants
  • Rhythmic planting of flowers and color to convey movement similar to what is found in music.
  • Strolling path for leisurely walking through the garden
  • Specimen trees as focal points and accents for the overall landscape

The violin pool itself, while undoubtedly the focal point of this magnificent property, is complimented by the surrounding planting design that was implemented by Cipriano’s Landscape Architecture crew. A boxwood hedge planted in an organic stem-like structure provides the green backdrop, which flowering and colorful plants “grow” off of. The pattern of green boxwoods mixed in with colorful plants is rhythmic, conveying movement similar to what is found in music. A beautiful 30-foot fully mature Bloodgood Japanese Maple emerges from the planting design as a specimen tree. The Japanese Maple accents the design and its radiant reddish purple leaves contrast the green color of the boxwoods and trees in the background.

The landscape is then highlighted with contemporary landscape LED lighting systems. Without experience, landscape lighting can be somewhat complicated to design, as lights that are too bright or are improperly placed can actually detract from the visual appeal of the landscape. For this project the lighting was first used in strategic places to ensure the safety of the property, and secondly to enhance certain features and bring the property to life at night. To accomplish this, a multi-layered lighting arrangement was installed throughout the landscape. Near the pool, fiber optic lighting was countersunk beneath the wall caps, which provide light while remaining unseen to people during the daylight hours. Along the stone patio and pathways, open-ended path lights were used to safely illuminate those areas and create an ambiance for people enjoying those spaces. Along the outer edges of the property “up lighting” was utilized to provide an incredible view of many of the unique specimen pieces planted throughout the landscape. All of the lighting can be adjusted by the homeowner to fit whatever mood or feeling they desire on a particular night.

Masonry Features and Outdoor Spaces:

  • Beautiful dolomitic limestone patios incorporating a G clef musical symbol inlay.
  • Fully furnished natural stone & glass tile outdoor kitchen and eating areas
  • Bar area installed with televisions that are raised and hidden through the use of hydraulic lifts
  • Radiant Patio Heating system provides heat to stones so they don’t freeze and ice in cold weather

The natural stone patio comprised of dolomitic limestone connects the house to the pool while providing an area for entertaining family and guests. The patio stones were laid out around the pool in a square pattern and surrounded by an inlay border to create a G clef symbol. The inlay served to delineate the pool area from the main patio entertaining area while also continuing with the musical theme of the property. Incorporated into the patio spaces is a fully furnished outdoor kitchen and bar, outfitted with an outdoor television. The outdoor kitchen provides all the amenities of an indoor kitchen allowing you to prepare and eat outdoors while enjoying the beautiful weather. This saves the household’s occupants both time and aggravation by allowing them to cook and prepare full meals all while remaining outside, instead of having to run back and forth into the house. The gorgeous kitchen set is composed mainly of steel and stone, which makes it not only convenient, but it further enhances the aesthetic appeal of the landscape, and coincides splendidly with the stone patio design. The large outdoor television is centered on a hydraulic lift, which lowers into the ground when it is not being utilized. The hydraulic lift allows the large television to only be viewable when it is desired. When not in use it can be hidden for its own protection while also preserving the beautiful view of the landscape.

A radiant heating system, paired with the homes boiler gives the homeowners the option to entertain and use the entirety of their pool and outdoor spaces year round. The radiant heating system works by installing pipes underground between the stone slabs of the patio. When heat is desired, the pipes are then filled and circulated with hot water that is connected to an external boiler system. Through radiant heat transferal the patio stones are warmed, which prevents any ice or snow from accumulating on the patio on a chilly winter day.

What is most important to us is that we satisfy the wishes of our clients, and provide them with a product that they can enjoy for years, and generations to come. At Cipriano Landscape Design, we specialize in providing the entire outdoor living experience to our patrons. While building luxury pools is our specialty, our teams of Landscape Architects, masons, horticulturists and others, provide the complete experience in luxury outdoor living. This particular homeowner approached us with a unique request, which demanded that we wade into previously uncharted territory. Yet above it all, we surpassed all of the challenges that arose during the design and building stages of the violin pool, because we were committed to turning that homeowner’s dream into a reality. The finished product is truly magnificent, but words simply cannot do it justice—be sure to review all of the pictures for yourself.