A UNIQUE ESTATE
- May 4th, 2023
- in Lifestyle
written in the stars
Developer and Chairman David V. Johnson describes Oil Nut Bay as “a generational community; the perfect combination of science and art, where building is in harmony with nature”. This could not be truer of Constellations, a distinctive Estate in one of Oil Nut Bay’s most magnificent locations.
The creative vision for Constellations began over 6-years ago when it’s owners, a young family relaxing on their undeveloped land, looked up at the spectacular night sky with it’s millions of stars that seem to shine brighter than ever before from Oil Nut Bay’s private, untouched location on the eastern tip of Virgin Gorda’s North Sound.
From these early beginnings, Constellations’ owners were decisive in their brief for a totally distinctive and contemporary home that would challenge norms and push boundaries creatively, while staying within the parameters of Oil Nut Bay’s exceptional design and material guidelines.
A small team who thrive on ‘out of the box thinking’ was assembled starting with architecture and design, a collaboration between Andrew Montgomery and Steven Townsend, co-founders of M+T Architects, Victoria Bezemer from Green Room Designs and working alongside them, the Oil Nut Bay master construction team.
“We could see this project would break the mould in terms of it’s more modern and urban-style design brief and that was very exciting for all involved,” said Andrew. “The property’s north-facing aspect and prime, oceanfront location is exquisite and we made sure the home would take full advantage of this position, giving it ocean views from every living space.”
Steven adds “working with the natural typography of the land and considering the harsh elements, including where the sun rises and sets and the wind directions were extremely important, initial considerations.”
“Also taking note of how the natural elements effected the property helped us make decisions on where living spaces would be placed, for example the pool on the west side gives protection from the wind,” he continues.
“Once the brief was set, the owners, architectural, design and construction teams never deviated from it – always questioning design ideas against it to make sure the vision stayed true” said Victoria, the project’s interior architect and designer.
From the outset and again consistent with the brief, a very modern, calming colour palette was selected, made up of cooler hues including blues, grays, whites with accents of black and chrome.
In terms of the materials, lava stone was used on the building envelope; it is a natural stone, but more consistent and rectangular, rather than an irregular, raw shaped stone. These colour palettes and materials have not really been seen previously in the wider Oil Nut Bay community.
Starting the tour, access to the property comes in at the rear. Two 6-passenger electric carts sit in the garage – essential for easy access to the sprawling Oil Nut Bay Estate and Marina Village that owners benefit from.
From the marble paved turn-around area, the view is hidden from the entrance by a wood-clad courtyard wall. It’s only when the incredible, large pivot door integrated into this wall opens that you are greeted by the breathtaking open air view in the exterior grand entry hall.
The nod to the constellations through the little pin lights in the ceiling only come into reality as you walk, expanding out to become more recognisable as your journey continues inside the home.
Set across two levels the house is expansive with a total floor area of 4,470 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. There is a large open-concept great room, living and dining spaces to your left and two master living spaces to your right.
The home provides dual living areas that can be quite separate from each other – providing a quiet space on one side and more sociability or family time on the other.
Arriving at the gourmet kitchen that is again oriented towards the ocean views, we see that the intent from the design team was for very streamlined and minimal. Some clever thinking was required to come up with a solution for the totally flush appearance of the cabinetry with no decorative hardware.
The large kitchen island has a waterfall edge and energy-efficient Wolf and Subzero appliances were fitted. Dornbracht luxury fittings were used throughout the kitchen and the separate laundry space, which was designed to be just as visually appealing as the kitchen.
Kitchen storage has been carefully thought with a hidden door into a pantry space that could be used as an owner’s lock up while the property is rented.
Looking around this beautiful home in its entirety, there is nothing in it that is not intentional. The modern palette, choice of building materials, together with the interior furnishings could be moulded in different ways to suit different tastes.
There are some stunning statement pieces within the home; a whimsical glass chandelier that stands alone in the double-height foyer as a delicate piece that gives a peaceful break from its sturdy surroundings; a gold mirror in the master suite that has a similar texture to lava rock which compliments the rear accent wall behind the bed; unique artwork, furnishings and accessories.
The design team speak in detail about ensuring durability of the house, both in terms of the build and all of the furniture, fixtures and fittings that were carefully chosen and sourced as if purposed for a boat – to withstand the harsh coastal elements, such as exterior-grade fabrics for the upholstery both inside and out which is also easier to maintain and has UV protection; interior lighting is brass-bodied with lacquer to avoid corrosion from sand and salt air; exterior shower fixtures are marine-grade stainless steel.
Stepping out through the floor-to-ceiling Euro-Wall sliders, there is over 2,500 feet of outdoor living space on each floor.
On the west side there is an outdoor bar area and chef’s kitchen with dining space and a salt water infinity pool, again with a nod to the stars featuring little pin lights depicting zodiac signs. Over on the eastern side of the property, just out of sight, there are two marine-grade outdoor shower pavilions.
The outdoor furnishings are again designed with the environment in mind with weighted or tie-down cushions, stone elements and a heavy Suar wood dining table cut from a single tree trunk section that was sourced from Tortola-based home interiors company, Arawak Interiors – creating a beautiful warm texture against the cooler hues in the space.
From the outdoor living area we head down through the meandering nature trail, passing by the look-out deck with it’s lounge area created with star-gazing in mind.
Continuing on the trail it takes us to the private little white sand beach, we take a seat in the beach hut and reflect on how the stars aligned in creating this one-of-a-kind property.