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Design Update

From Start to Finish: Pasea Apartments

The Pasea Apartments were constructed in 1964 so were due for an update. The original owners, based in London, wanted to modernise the spaces, making them more attractive to residents of the BVI. A tight budget, a tight timeline and no original drawings left RDP with some challenging issues to overcome. Our team of in-house architects, engineers and project managers allowed for close coordination with the owner and contractor, Wells Contractors, to provide a spectacular result.

The view through the sliding glass doors. Photo courtesy of RDP.

Two types of apartments were developed: a two bedroom on one level and a three bedroom on two levels. Each bedroom space had maximized views, walk-in closets and en suite bathrooms (one with bathtub). The great room space was combined into one room, and the old balcony was added into the living room. The spaces were designed to maximize cross-ventilation to alleviate the need for AC usage (although it is provided). Eco-friendly materials were used for all the finishes.

The kitchen before and after. Photos courtesy of RDP.

The original galley kitchen was separated by a wall and a slot to pass through food to the dining area. This layout divided the small space even further and made the kitchen hot and disconnected from the rest of the apartment. Original cabinets, mix-matched appliances and out-of-date windows were removed and donated to VISAR (Virgin Islands Search and Rescue), to help fund search and rescue operations, by the client.

After the kitchen wall was removed and the ceiling vaulted, the increased perception of space was immediately evident. White and maple custom cabinetry by Wells Woodwork, combined with all the standard modern stainless appliances brought the kitchen into the present.

The addition of an island and barstools provided a social connection between the living and cooking areas and made for spectacular views while entertaining or cooking.


The original bedrooms had a small balcony and a closet on the view side of the bedroom. Once this space was incorporated into the bedroom, large windows provided views from the bed or desk while still providing some privacy from the outside. The bedroom designs considered that the rooms would be used by a family or a professional, and multiple layouts were drawn to ensure the maximum flexibility for bed and desk installations. These included such things as data points, electrical outlets and cable connections for TV on all the walls. Air conditioning, operable windows and a large ceiling fan provide options for cooling for each occupant.

Modern faucets and glass shower enclosures provided a new contemporary look and each suite gets a bathtub for those young kids or soaks after a squash game at the nearby sports club.

The electrical wiring and fixtures were completely replaced and updated. The existing plumbing connections were reused where possible for cost. Luckily the previous bathrooms typically had connections in locations that worked with the new, updated bathrooms. Light coloured Corian counters coupled with maple woods and coral-like floor and wall tiles were used to achieve a sense of openness.  

To see more drawings:         www.architecture.vg/pasea/

For information on renting, contact Smiths-Gore property managers in Road Town, Tortola.

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