Many clients want a pool to enhance their island home. For the McDonald residence in Palmetto Bay Plantation the design called for an infinity edge pool visually connecting the central house to the ocean. We chose to use proven, local construction methods. The foundation for the pool was fabricated with concrete footings and the double thick, steel reinforced concrete block retaining walls. This method is not common in the US due to the high cost of labor and the requirements for “overbuilding” the structure to assure stability and integrity. However, in Central America the local skilled labor was experienced with the techniques and was very cost effective. The entire wetted surfaces of the pool and infinity edge waterfall were finished in glazed tile – the effect was beautiful and practical. In the US this pool can be considerable expense costing >$100K but using the local available materials and methods the actual cost was reduced by 2/3.
One the many desirable features of an island home is luxurious plant growth and the many options for landscaping. I encourage my clients to take advantage of the native plants set in natural groupings to enhance their properties. The north coast of Roatan is heavy with mature hardwood trees, figs, almonds, cashews and cohune palms. Fruit trees including guava, avocado, limon, naranja, guanabana, sweet sop, papaya, bananas, mangos all grow rapidly in Central America and the many varieties of flowering gingers, night jasmine, a rainbow of crotons, hibiscus and bouganvilas add colorful accents. We “discovered” the University of Curla on the mainland as a wonderful source for grafted fruit trees and there are many resources on the island for selecting from the wide variety of plantings. Salt tolerant sea grasses, clumps of paparus and fragrant lemon grass are used for stabilizing the soil. In the McDonald residence we included a roof top screen house for an organic vegetable container garden and the cultivation of orchards. The climate is perfect for growing – many plants can be easily grown by simply sticking cuttings into the soil during the rainy season! The only limit is your imagination.