Modern Home Builder - Fall 2017 - 103
lends to the higher-end, luxury custom homebuilding," Earl adds.
"The reason we work in high-end homes is because here quality
and creativity are desired and supported. I began in fine arts, and
aesthetics and finer details have always been important to me."
Because of rocky site conditions on the island, Watercress Developments specializes in challenging projects. "The homes are
more interesting and technically involved as challenges are turned
into a benefit for a project," Earl explains.
A COHOUSING VISION
Although Watercress Developments will continue to build custom
luxury homes, Earl prides himself on being on the cutting-edge of
purposeful innovation and is in the early stages of considering building cohousing communities. "Cohousing communities are intentional, collaborative neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity," according to The Cohousing Association of the United States.
"It's an interest I've had for a long time," Earl adds. "Twenty
years ago, I sketched some ideas of community design and living in
a manner where people share space more than what we generally
do today. Cohousing has been around for quite a while and is the
idea of people having private space and some communal space to
live less isolated."
In cohousing, each family or member has their own private residence in a single-family home or multi-family unit. The private
residences have conventional comforts of bathrooms, bedrooms,
living spaces and a kitchen. Share spaces give the opportunity to
pursue interests into elder years with others of like mind, in areas
such as gardening, woodwork, art, cooking and others. Community space - both indoors and out - supports social gathering and
entertainment. Shared spaces can include a common living room,
kitchen, courtyard, garden spaces and more.
Cohousing developments can offer a more engaged and vital
life, and would be rewarding to pursue, Earl says. "Looking deeper into our needs and interests and thinking creatively of how to
meet these, is wise," he adds. "The design will reflect the quality of
thought brought to the project, so it is important this is pursued
in depth, and with fun and good humor, out of which many good
things can come."
Having developed a strong culture of collaboration and "team"
at Watercress Development, Earl hopes to carry this into his new
vision of cohousing developments. "This often stirs considerable
interest in those 'over 50' with whom I talk. I'm interested now in
connecting with others for whom this interests," he adds. "I think
cohousing can meet the deeper needs we have for community and
connection. Our way of life right now tends to be more isolated
and separate rather than connected." )
Watercress plans to carry its culture of teamwork into its new venture to develop
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