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The Greatest Chute on Earth

By Carolina Buia

Photography by Kat Braman

02.07.18

Swim laps in luxury at Bill Koch’s visually stunning pool.

No pool party is complete without a slide, and that’s just how art collector and philanthropist Bill Koch felt when he purchased Tom Otterness’ “Playground” sculptures—two in fact, one for his Palm Beach backyard and another for his home on Cape Cod, Mass. “It’s a friendly sculpture, and kids just love it,” says Koch, with a twinkle in his eye. The consummate businessman, he scored a deal by buying the pair. Cast in bronze, the artwork glistens in the sun, like a long-limbed boy, tanned by outdoor adventures. His legs are chutes; his arms, climbing trunks; and his chest, a lookout station. Towering over 24 feet, he makes a playful statement. Koch had water plumbed in to make it a veritable recreational—not just visual—masterpiece. “I’ve always thought slides were fun,” says Koch. “Growing up in Wichita, Kan. I’d go to the community pool to use their slide.” Today, he only needs to step outdoors to make a splash.