- April 1st, 2008
- in Yachting
Following on from last month’s review of Frenchman’s Paradise we asked the man behind the design of this brand new property to elaborate on its finer aspects. The design brief for this newly-completed residence was clear: to visually blend in with the hillside and the landscape, to be distinctive but not obtrusive, and to maximize the potential of the spectacular location and views out to St John and the islands to the west.
We set out to design a simple building with plenty of character and sophistication; a contemporary expression with a refined Caribbean influence, using a palette of natural materials and clean, crisp and cool colours.
The driveway and parking is simple, with easy parking for two vehicles. The house is screened from the driveway arrival area by a curved stone wall and a custom–made gate with a contemporary design based on abstracted natural vegetation. On the other side of the gate is the spectacular pool court. The pool is an elliptical “bowl” with an all-round vanishing edge in granite, surrounded by light-coloured natural coral stone. From the pool court, the house is revealed, together with the first glimpse of the view to the west.
To the left is the formal entrance to the house, via a stone entry court shaded by a pergola, which throws dramatic shadows and will soon be covered by flourishing plants. The glazed entry door provides access to the entry hall and staircase, centrally located for easy-flowing circulation within the building, the powder room and the study or fourth bedroom.
On the upper level, up a half flight of steps, is the main living space, which is large, open and light, with pickled wood vaulted ceiling and full-width opening with hardwood-framed French doors to the terrace and view. At the north end of the living space, the open-plan kitchen overlooks the entry and pool court, and opens out to the terrace, which connects back down to the pool.
To the south of the living space is the master suite, with a vaulted ceiling to the bedroom and a large private bathroom with oversized shower opening out to a private outdoor patio, which has its own view and is screened by a stone wall and shaded by a large turpentine tree.
On the lower level are two large bedrooms, each with their own large bathroom, which again have large openings to the view but are screened by the landscaping and shaded by the overhanging terrace, keeping the rooms cool and protected.
The house has many environmentally–friendly features, including an array of photovoltaic panels for electricity generation, and solar heating for hot water. All paints to the interior are zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds), to minimize toxic substances. The waste treatment plant converts all waste water to be reused for irrigation. The landscaping has been carefully designed to help to provide privacy and shade as well as colour and softening to all areas around the house.
As the last and best site in a gated community, this villa is protected, private and secluded in paradise, ideal and desirable as a second home or vacation rental; this spot is truly a modern getaway in all its tropical bliss. Nearby Sopers Hole Marina offers excellent yacht management and shopping facilities, while just minutes away are the pristine beaches of Tortola’s North Shore. The home is for sale for $3m. For further information or for a viewing contact Chris Smith at Coldwell Banker BVI on 495 3000 or visit www.frenchmansparadise.com.
Steve Fox is a Senior Architect for OBM International’s BVI office. He is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited design professional and co-founder of the BVI Sustainable Living Network.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT OBM OR TO INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES,
Steve Fox, British Virgin Islands office
T 284 494 2148 / F 284 494 3898
For seven decades, OBM International has been the premier full-service design-consulting firm in Bermuda and the Caribbean. Today, with nine multinational offices, projects throughout the world and a diverse team of experts, OBM is a global leader in luxury hotel/resort design development, architecture, master/town planning and interior design, with landmark projects in the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula.
OBM currently has design offices located in Antigua, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Madrid, Miami, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks & Caicos Islands, a strategic alliance in the Bahamas, and a business development office in Bath (UK).