We were startled when our architects gave us some hyper-realistic renderings of Casa Nana. Even though we were still in the first phase of planning, they wanted to assure us that the idea wasn’t to create a stark and modernist home suggested by the earlier drawings. In sending us the pictures, these glimpses into the future, they also presented an idea for columns that we immediately liked — despite the fact that we wanted something entirely different.
Touring Mérida the last year-and-a-half, we’ve loved those cylindrical columns that we see everywhere. Rounded, slightly time worn columns supporting rounded arches. That’s what we wanted. Then, they turn around and give us these squared-off columns with bevels. And somehow, they immediately seemed right, suited to the art deco facade of the house and in line with our general direction. Other than the facade, there’s nothing in the original house to be salvaged. A tabula rasa.
I think we may have told them earlier that we have a firm preference for right angles and masculine shapes as well. No kidney shaped pools or curvy pathways.
Another thing we’re liking is the division between the indoors and the outdoors, which on the ground level is practically 50-50. There’s a set of rooms off the street, then a courtyard the entire width of the house, another set of rooms, the backyard, and the small house (I find people are resisting the term casita, which I thought was the proper name for a small house out back).
The rendering also indicates a young woman wandering near the small house out back. Also startling. She looks like our friend Wilma. How did the architects know about Wilma?