We have been working with our architect, Carlos Alamillo, for a few weeks now, going back and forth with ideas, looking at sketches  and researching ideas for a "green" house. In contrast to the homes that we visited in SacBe, most of the "eco friendly" homes being built around the globe are quite modern. While the homes in many of the pictures I have seen successfully bring the outdoors inside, they are way too modern and angular for our taste. While we love all the glass and the views out to the wilderness, in this area, prone to hurricanes, as a primary building material it just doesn't work. We also want a home that looks like it "belongs" in this area of the world. Using traditional building materials, local hardwoods and stone from the our property is the way we want to go with our home. These are some of the interesting "research" pictures Carlos sent for our consideration.

We have met, face to face, three times now. Each time, Carlos comes armed with a series of sketches. At this point, we are really only looking at placement on the lot and in relation to the movement of the sun, spacial relationships and the general lines of the home. These are some of the drawings we have looked at and either discounted completely or adapted to fit in with our vision of "home".

After several sets of sketches, and taking into consideration our daily routines and the way we live and entertain, we have come to this. We have collectively agreed that our home will not have any straight lines. It will be a free-form, amoeba like structure that resembles a cell undergoing some crazy mitosis. Many of the elements we liked from the homes in SacBe will be integrated into the design. Rob even gets to have his waterslide! This is where we are in the design process as of this week. We are very excited about the layout....we are not excited about the size. We are hoping to build a home of about 3500 to 4000 square feet. This home, as it is currently sketched, has over 7000 square feet of construction!! Needless to say, when Carlos puts this into AutoCAD, he will need to scale it down.

We had originally thought that our home would be more of a compound, a central building housing the kitchen, living and dining areas with our suite above, surrounded by small bungalows for the kids. In the end, Carlos' single structure seems to make best use of the space. We love to be outside and in the pool and we want to be able to have as much "yard" space as possible. Breaking it up with multiple buildings just didn't work within the confines of a walled property. I am looking forward to this week's meeting and update. There are, of course, lots of things that need "tweaking", (a word I taught Carlos last week) before we move forward. The more we can finalize now, the better we can use our construction time and money later on.

To read Part 1 of this series click here!