Did you know there’s an entire cable TV show about pool building? And this isn’t your typical luxury in-ground pool featurette. “The Pool Master” from Animal Planet is basically art.
Piggybacking on the success of Animal Planet’s similarly constructed “Treehouse Masters,” “The Pool Master” was ordered for three initial episodes followed by a longer special that would document projects from renowned pond builder Anthony Archer-Wills.
Anthony is well-known in the pool and landscape community. An older, eccentric Englishman, Archer-Wills revolutionized the water garden industry in 1960s Britain. As a young boy, he was always fascinated with water and at one point hoped to be a sailor.
At age 16, his mother and stepfather let him experiment in their yard and make his first garden pond. In an interview with The Telegraph, he said, “everything I have done in my career, from pond design to stream and waterfall creation, to planting schemes, was all first tried out in my garden in Sussex.”
From there, he became a self-proclaimed “sculptor of rock and water.” He really honed his craft in the 60s, driven by his fascination with landscape and the convergence of earth and water. He built his first large-scale projects for Safari Parks in England and Bear Park in Scotland. By the 1970s, he had set a standard for water garden building worldwide.
So clearly, the only frontier left to explore has been American cable television!
The premier of “The Pool Master,” which relies heavily on Anthony Archer-Wills as a central character, has already gotten the go-ahead for a second season. You can tell from the series preview clip on Animal Planet’s website that he’s not your average TV personality. As someone describes in the short preview, “He’s flamboyant, very fun to be with. You just can’t help but love the guy.” And in another breath, the man interviewed remarked, “He’s a mad genius.”
The show focuses on natural pool systems that Archer-Wills wants to “look as though they were put there by nature.” Sure, there’s waterfall and rock formations but this is not your typical gaudy celebrity fare. The show premiered to 1 million views with an additional 408,000 viewers in a demo preview. The program is currently looking for homeowners looking to be a part of the show.
Anthony Archer-Wills has won several awards for his mastery including the Association of Professional Landscape Designers 2013 APLD Award of Distinction and the McClosky Prize awarded by WaterShapes Magazine. He’s a frequent guest lecturer, published author, and magazine article contributor.
He has designed over 2,000 water features worldwide including a 15-acre lake, waterfalls that flow with 12,000 gallons per minute, and 1,000 foot streams.
The motto for both Archer-Wills and his new show “The Pool Master” is simple: