Life Is About Change
Never in this lifetime of working, dreaming and creating did I imagine it would happen! But immediately after retiring from public school teaching in 2004, I made a celebratory trip to Costa Rica with Larry, my partner for thirty years. We both fell in love with the tropical Southern Zone jungle, aptly referred to as “Where The Mountains Meet The Sea”. We immediately purchased a prepared building lot way up in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, just north of the coastal pueblecito of Dominical.
The Building Lot
Returning to the States, I spent all of 2005 and 2006 designing a house specifically for this remarkable plateau. Situated 750’ above sea level, thrusting 150’ forward from the mountainside like the prow of a ship, the site boasts a 270 degree CinemaScope view of prime rainforest and fertile valleys, including a 25 mile vista of coastline wending its way toward the vast horizon. The piece de resistance is the 60’ waterfall cascade that borders the steep property line. The lot is now graced with our recently completed house, anno 2007.
Max Ehrmann’s timeless poem Desiderata HYPERLINK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata was my prime inspiration for the form of the house. His words, written in 1925, touched me profoundly as a young man while I earned my teaching degree at University of Maryland. The tranquility of the elevated tropical location and its unification with the natural world first inspired the floor plan of the architecture. Walls and roofline grew from that studied footprint. Encompassing the entire plateau of the building lot, Casa Desiderata might poetically be viewed as “a penthouse apartment floating above the jungle canopy”.
International Style Meets Palladio
A surprising mix of international styles and moods appears through an eclectic blend of contemporary glass block, Egyptian columns, a Japanese pavilion roof line, and interior cathedral ceilings. The house is enhanced with an intimate main entrance art gallery, and a below staircase fish pond that is crowned on the second level with a spacious aviary. Palladian formal balance controls the layout, (a la Villa Rotonda, Vicenza), mimicking the naturally balanced forms of living creatures, sea-worthy vessels and houses of worship. However, the home digresses from this mirror image strictness by granting variable interior use of space as appropriate. Casa Desiderata in its completion works beautifully as a living space, and I have recently begun to describe it as a curious blend of cruise ship and monastery. Lots of fun during meditation!
Another Opening, Another Show
The ultimate surprise for me upon arriving to live in Costa Rica has been encountering the remarkable community of Dominical. (www.dominical.biz) The ex-pat residents, international in scope, live Costa Rica’s Pura Vida while actively supporting the delightful new performance venue, The Dominical Little Theatre. (www.dominical.biz/theatre). Founded in 2004 by Monica Perez and Shawnell Parker, this magnetic organization is now my “pied a terre” in the creative world. Offering the opportunity to perform music, produce shows, create stage sets, accompany singers, direct dancers, and coach actors, the Little Theatre is a dream come true for the likes of me. For I was a man who thought he was leaving a lifetime of community work behind to concentrate on the Creative Spirit in the privacy of his own jungle studio. Trust me, there is never a dull moment in Dominical, Costa Rica!
Plans for Tropical Paintings,
New Music CDs, and Fresh Stories?
P.S. Let me get settled in my art studio, learn about my Yamaha Composer’s Workstation, and I will be in touch. Wish me luck. Meanwhile, enjoy your visit here at WATERLILYLOVE.com.