the dream · barbados
The dream proposes a contemporary reinterpretation of the colonial architecture of the Caribbean and the Barbados islands in particular. The analysis of the climatic conditions and the use of some of the traditional materials, together with the study of the construction techniques of the place, provide us with a new mental toolbox. Nothing more stimulating for a team of architects!
The particular organization of teamwork proposed by the Anglo-Saxon model – which we have already experienced in projects in the Philippines and Dubai – is an interesting exercise.
We join the project like someone who gets on a moving train. The client had considered at first to reform the original house of about 400m2. After establishing the program, it became clear that demolition was the best option, as the goal was 650m2. the client was working with a local team and the project, at a certain point, had stuck; they could not get ahead.
We started on the basis of a program and agreed distribution plants. We detected, in a first analysis, that the flow of the initial proposal did not work, that it was totally conditioned by an erroneous position of the kitchen on the ground floor. After several fittings, we proposed moving the kitchen and the office next to the pool next to the access. Suddenly, everything started to make sense! circulations were optimized, a clear hierarchy between served spaces and server spaces appeared –thanks louis khan for your wise teachings- and balanced spaces emerged, well balanced. the rooms, in a natural way, were concatenating and proposing atmospheres and new moments for everyday life.
The treatment of the climate was a key issue. The aim was to achieve – with the height of the ceilings, the enclosure system and the distribution on the ground – a cross ventilation between the sea front and the rear palm grove, which would prevent the air conditioning from being permanently on.
Daily life in the contemporary Caribbean takes place in covered spaces, a transition between a warm and humid exterior – with intermittent rains – and a heated interior. We quickly understood that the key to the architecture of the place was to expand these intermediate, covered, shaded -but not air-conditioned- spaces to the maximum to improve the quality of life. we recovered the idea of the perimeter porch at two levels characteristic of the first sugar cane mansions, but we projected it towards the interior by means of large sliding panels. Then, the interior spaces are connected to the perimeter veranda and the inside-outside experience is enhanced to the heart of the house.
The plot is long and narrow, with very tight spaces against the boundaries. Our proposal had to avoid the feeling of boxing in, solve the road access from the street and allow a comfortable entrance to the house and, where appropriate, to the pool deck.
For more information about this house click here.
Saint James, Barbados
2008 – 2010
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