The design for this holiday house lies in a contemporary reinterpretation of an historic Caribbean style. The proposal draws from specific elements—high roof, wrap around verandah, intricate gable treatment, louvered doors and use of colour—traditional elements that still find their place in contemporary Caribbean architecture.
The house is organized into two volumes, with a wrap-around verandah encompassing both volumes and claiming the space in between as a courtyard. The west volume is dedicated to living and entertaining, and the east volume to the family’s private life. A gallery provides a connection between the two volumes and extends as a stage for the client’s son to compose and perform music.
The house is subtly detailed and makes use of local materials and craftsmanship. Full-height doors fold away, dematerializing the sense of boundaries, merging indoor and outdoor into one generous space with unobstructed views of the tropical landscape and the Grenadine islands beyond.
In consideration of the client’s desire for a traditional gingerbread fretwork design on the gable end of the roof, an architectural interpretation of a Traveller’s Palm was proposed.
This feature created an iconographic radiating pattern allowing light to float across the room. The treatment of colour in the gable end and the louvers is a reference to the Oliver Messel green, present in many of his villas on the islands of Barbados and Mustique.
The reinterpretation and interplay of the different elements from past to present have created timeless spaces. Spaces where the boundaries between inside and outside vanish, where light and shade are balanced, where intimate proportions become generous and where nature becomes architecture and architecture a contextual experience.