Back when we were shopping for properties, a few of the houses for sale were half-done construction projects. Why were they abandoned when the pipe was already laid, the kitchen island already set? It’s not so hard to comprehend these days. We’re in our eighth month of this, with four or five more to go. We’re still stoked about Casa Nana, but I have to admit that fatigue is setting in.
To keep sane, while I wait stateside for this project to end, sometimes I flip through the nearly 900 pictures I have amassed since we first saw the house. I know nothing of construction, so I don’t really know what I’m looking at. But it’s an emotional lift to look at photos that were taken at the very beginning, and then compare them to photos sent the previous “Foto Friday.” Photos emailed to us at the end of each work week by one of the staff architects. As if I didn’t already have a good reason to wait for Fridays, these days we’re checking our email constantly starting around 3. I reply with a “thank you” and quickly save the photo attachments into a folder on my hard drive, and then upload them to Flickr and Facebook.
Yesterday I decided to organize them into sets, as you can do on Flickr. One set will document the columns being built off the terrace. Another will show the kitchen’s evolution. But the first one I’m doing is to reveal the slow disappearance of the yellow arch that connected two of the rooms in the original house. One feature I was hoping to hold on to was that arch, and the architects knew it. The arch revealed the thick original walls; the front walls were thinner and appeared to be added on later. But since we wanted a center hallway, the original grid of the old house had to be shifted. So the archway was turned into a rectangular window dotted with a small round porthole. But an echo of the old arch remains: The window will have an eyebrow. And I love it. The eyebrow window will overlook a small fish pond, which will be visible from the TV room. On our future sofa, we’ll have two views: Look right, and we’ll see all the new stuff we built. Look left, and we’ll see the remnants of an old arch that we couldn’t save. But our architects thought to honor it with this simple, thoughtful gesture.