Introduction—Architecture by the Sea
Whether captivated by an island’s carefree attitude, warm temperatures, diverse residents or simply caught in the trance of the ocean’s changing tides, island and coastal living offer that extra finesse to life that is hard to find elsewhere. It’s undeniable why many people navigate their way to a waterfront home. To imagine the perfect getaway is easy, but the design cannot be accomplished by concepts which are purely serendipity – instead to design and build it to its maximum potential demands the requisite professional experiences which we discuss in detail below.
With a deep commitment to craft and the creation of dramatic yet functional spaces, MMA tailors each client’s desires into a uniquely expressive and signature home or estate. Morehouse MacDonald has had the opportunity to work with clients from the United States, Europe, and Africa to deliver superior architectural services in St Kitts and Nevis.
Our creative process begins with the client, who communicates needs and desires which we then translate into a written and clear architectural program. Listening is our first most critical skill at this stage. We then move onto analyzing a chosen site or help clients directly in the site selection process. We look carefully at the site’s natural features and draw upon them for design inspiration; we pay particular attention to the richness of the visual as we search for ways to awaken power views through the lens of architectural spaces. And we explore a locality’s architectural history, character, materiality and building traditions as part of our overall design solutions. The results of our work can be seen here:
The Architectural Process—Building on St Kitts and Nevis
As we discuss in “Design Visa: Why MMA’s Clients Take Us Abroad,” MMA has built up a solid track record with a key building partner in Bennett Hofford Construction, who has assisted us in our earlier projects on St Kitts and continues to play a key role in our current endeavors at Christophe Harbour. Together as architect and builder, we have built up complimentary skill sets in design and construction ideally suited for projects in the Caribbean.
Our Current Experiences on St Kitts and Nevis
On our first project inside Christophe Harbour we were challenged by a client who sought out a design that was both responsive to the site’s abundant views and orientations while seeking a more European sense of scale and refinement—all under roof lines that are typical of Caribbean architecture.
We enthusiastically embraced what seemed like deeply contradictory design goals to arrive at a home that stands apart yet still belongs to the generalized vision of Christophe Harbour architecture. Hip roofs are sheathed in warm soft terracotta tiles while stucco walls embrace a more lively mix of warm peachy tones. Regional coral stone intermixes with dark brown timbers at roof edges while large glass openings adjoin expansive terraces facing the ocean.
MMA’s first project at Christophe Harbour was directly responsive to the client’s interest in European influences.
If our first project at Christophe Harbour presented unique challenges in balancing materiality and architectural language on a beachfront property, our next project on St Kitts would demand an analytical and strategic approach to site design work out on Cardinal Point.
With views across Sandy Bank Bay, our client tasks MMA with delivering a design that met their unique lifestyle while creating a home that embraced both the ocean-facing views and the inherent tranquillity offered by facing the mountain on the opposite side. Unique to this home on a hillside is the creation of an internalized garden for yoga and meditation that still remains connected to the presence of the ocean on the opposite side. To achieve this required a deft arrangement of space creation at multiple levels while still maintaining reasonable engineering and construction program along the mountain.
These few projects are a limited showing of MMA’s work in St Kitts and Nevis and we are excited to have been chosen as a Preferred Architect program at Christophe Harbour.