Architecture in the Dominican Republic

Like its food, dance, and music, Dominican Republic Architecture represents a blending of rich cultures that have produced something truly unique.

Whether you are looking to permanently relocate or rent a luxury villa, you’ll quickly notice the deeply rooted culture of the Dominican Republic bursting out of every wall and rooftop.

As with any form of art, one must become familiar with the historical context to truly appreciate growth. The Dominican Republic’s eventful past makes the island the famous vacation destination it is today and also has a great influence on the feel of its buildings and towns. A look at the three historic influences on the country’s architecture will offer a new perspective on real estate and help uncover the hidden part of the past!

Indigenous Influence

The indigenous peoples of the Dominican Republic inhabited the Dominican long before the arrival of Columbus and Spanish colonists. The Taino people relied heavily on the mahogany and guano (dried palm tree leaf) to put together crafts, artwork, furniture, and houses.

Utilizing mud, thatched roofs, and mahogany trees give buildings and the furniture inside a natural look, blending in with the island’s surroundings. Keep an eye out for imitation thatched-roofs, mahogany-based walls and supports, and even hammocks, which are the traditional sleeping accommodations of the Taino.

Spanish Colonial

The deep influence of the Spanish colonists is evident throughout the country, whether in the Spanish spoken in the markets or the country’s famous La Bandera dish. Yet the colonists’ influence on complex architecture is most outstanding, especially stark when contrasted with the simplicity of Taino furniture and houses.

Beautiful street in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo

Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Characterized by ornate designs and baroque structures, the style can best be seen in the capital city of Santo Domingo. Still, the designs carry over into the villas and buildings throughout the country. Be on the lookout for any buildings that contain stucco exteriors, arched doors and windows, and red-tiled roofs.

Museum in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo.

Columbus House in Santo Domingo

Modern Style

With the rise in tourism and increasing popularity as a Caribbean vacation destination, architects in the Dominican Republic began to incorporate cutting-edge designs that emphasized luxury. In many ways, an architectural playground, villas, and hotels implemented new styles while still offering new takes on the old. This new style, though diverse, is characterized by simplified, angular corners, and large windows that blend outdoor and indoor spaces.

Hotel Hilton in Santo Domingo, DR

Hotel Hilton in Santo Domingo

As with the culture as a whole, contemporary architects embrace the Dominican Republic’s rich history and various cultures to create something new. Surveying modern villas, one can find any combination of the three major styles: a villa may contain angular, modernist building construction, Spanish Colonial-style arched windows and a traditional Taino hammock in the bedroom balcony. Whether you’re dedicated to one style or are set on combining all three, the Dominican Republic offers a combination for everyone!

For Architecture services, contact the architect directly who is working together with Select Caribbean Properties.

Understanding Dominican Republic Construction Costs

Are you wondering about the construction costs of building a home in the Dominican Republic?

We are often asked how costs can be determined and what buyers should take into consideration.

Dominican Republic Construction Costs

Spanish – Tuscan Villa

When looking at purchasing real estate for construction in the Dominican Republic, there are four main things to consider:

1.Costs are directly linked to location and natural assets

At first, this may sound obvious to buyers. However, at second glance, there are a few valuable facts to take into consideration:

  • the location of a property can mean the difference between full air conditioning or rely on natural air flow
  • considering solar electricity from the outset of a project can radically alter the cost of living for the long term
  • beautiful native materials such as coralina stone, marble, wicker, and wood may be woven into the fabric of a house at a lower cost than many other parts of the world
  • advanced technologies are also in common use here – but may come at a higher price tag due to import, etc.

2. Working with a trusted professional will often help to save costs in the long term

Many purchases existing homes and personalize them according to their tastes.

However,  those interested in starting with a blank canvas will discover a wide range of professionals and materials available.

Most of our clients’ top concerns are economy, efficiency, and beauty. Thanks to countless worldwide innovations in home-building technologies, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance are becoming increasingly available to everyone.

In fact, a smaller home may be both beautiful and efficient.

The American Architect Eric M. Urbahn who lives on the island has many different plans of home designs for you to choose from.

Dominican Republic Construction Costs

Architectural services by Eric M. Urbahn

3. Hard costs vary, but there are big ticket items that affect them.

In general, it is safe to assume that construction costs in the Dominican Republic can be found between $725-$850 USD per square meter.

Many buyers in the Dominican Republic are looking for homes with 2-3 bedrooms. Living, dining, and kitchen are often combined into one larger space. Because of this, outdoor living areas such as covered terraces and kiosks will become the most popular places in any tropical house.

An 185 square meter villa (2000 square feet) with minimal landscaping can be built for approximately $725-$750 USD per square meter. These costs would include:

  • 2-3 bedrooms villa with 2 baths
  • Italian kitchen with mid-range appliances
  • flat roof (no pitch or tiles)
  • completely painted
  • aluminum windows and doors

In addition, a small family pool would cost about $15,000 USD with basic filter/pump system. Also, a driveway, basic landscaping, and cistern would cost an additional $10,000 USD. An outdoor kiosk would cost approximately $4000 USD.

Normally, high-quality construction costs are about $875 USD per square meter ($82 per square foot). These costs do not generally include a pool, landscaping, or extras like a higher grade kitchen, wood windows, expensive tiles, faucets, etc.

Therefore, it’s easy to see how costs can very quickly rise to $1000 per square meter or more for a first class villa. Saying that a very basic house, fully equipped, could start at US$ 600,00 per square meter.

Caribbean Dream Home in Hacienda El Choco, Sosua-Cabarete, DR

Living Room

4.The Dominican Republic has many natural assets

First of all, we live in the sunshine!

Most areas of the Dominican Republic experience at least partial sunshine for 300 days of the year. Solar panels (photovoltaics) provide clean electricity for your whole home and property.

Another great resource here is the wind. The wind can also provide abundant electricity, particularly during the peak daytime consumption hours. Windmills available here range in size, are quiet when operating, and require minimal maintenance.

However, without a doubt, the greatest assets of our country are our people and our climate. Together, we create a wonderful place to call home.

I would love your thoughts on this too. Leave me a comment on my Facebook Page which is SelectCaribbean.

Find out for yourself how we can help you learn more by contacting us today.

Luxury Villas, Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Main Entrance