Every home has its story. Each choice made during the design phase, whether the tiniest of subtle details or the overarching themes that extend throughout, hints at the homeowner’s dreams and aspirations. From the Mediterranean design the couple chooses as a reminder of their enchanting honeymoon, to the expansive outdoor spaces the growing family requests so their little ones will have a place to play, to the kitchen, carefully planned with thoughts of meals the homeowners will cook and share with friends—each of these elements ultimately weave themselves into the homeowner’s memories, firmly a part of the fabric of their life.With projects throughout the Caribbean, OBMI has had a hand in helping people across the region bring their dream spaces to life. Here, we showcase some of their most spectacular.
Mollihawk, Antigua, Mitch Stuart and Carina Harnery-Rogerson
Those who live in the Caribbean find themselves drawn to the outdoors, to the brilliant warmth of the sunshine tempered by cooling ocean breezes. In this region, some of the best-designed homes capitalise on the beautiful natural environment. Case in point: Mollihawk, a home in Antigua designed by OBMI Senior Architect Mitch Stuart and OBMI Antigua Managing Director Carina Harnery-Rogerson. There’s a fluidity to this one-storey home, with interior and exterior spaces merging seamlessly. The kitchen, with its ample central island, retains the feeling of a garden pergola, and just beyond, the open-air dining and living area leads to a sun-soaked terrace with infinity pool perfectly positioned to maximise the breathtaking views. Mollihawk was designed to allow for natural ventilation via air flow, and the home’s recycled steel and roof shingles play into its contemporary, organic vibe. The home’s flat roofs and monochromatic tones allow it to nestle unobtrusively on its site. “Coming from Antigua, there is definitely something appealing about the island living lifestyle, yet we strive to protect our island’s cultural characteristics with intelligent and sustainable architecture and interior design,” says Harnery-Rogerson.
Casa del Cielo, Grand Cayman, Mikhail Chin
In the ultra-exclusive gated community of Vista del Mar, the architecture of this single-family home astounds from the moment you arrive. Striking exteriors in a contemporary Mediterranean style lend a feeling that’s equally upscale, modern, and inviting. The three-storey floor plan is spacious, open, and bathed in natural light that’s welcomed inside via a dining area atrium, whose expansive glass roof commands attention. “This is a favourite feature of the clients, and the natural light gives life and balance to the space,” says OBMI Senior Architect Mikhail Chin. The futuristic stair design blends metal, wood, and glass for a dramatic floating effect. Luxury amenities to match the alluring architecture include a built-in modern wine cellar, a theatre room, infinity pool, and outdoor kitchen. “When I work on any residence project, it is extremely important that I get to know my clients on a personal level,” says Chin. “This allows me to be a guardian of their wants and lifestyle needs throughout the building process and produce a successful design for them to enjoy for years to come.”
Hurricane Resiliency, British Virgin Islands, Marvin Flax
In true Caribbean spirit, the region’s people are looking at the devastation of the 2017 hurricane season as a learning experience, gauging how to be even better prepared. Marvin Flax, OBMI Managing Director in the British Virgin Islands, notes key factors in improving resiliency: self-contained structures, with cisterns, solar panels, and back-up generators; sacrificial overhangs, which can be lost to storms without compromising the primary roof structure; and using post-storm debris in the creation of furniture, accent pieces, and even retaining walls.“This is a wonderful way to embrace the positive in a very difficult situation,” says Flax.
Longtail House, Bermuda, Melissa Woods
This design combines modern architecture with classic Bermudian style in a home meant to be one family’s legacy—somewhere for the family’s story to unfold and memories to be created.“Longtail is one of my favourite projects,” says Melissa Woods, who completed the interior design of the home. “It allowed me to stretch as a designer and still provide a personal environment the clients could enjoy for years to come.” The classic, rustic, modern style inspires feelings of relaxed warmth in this functional family home, whose design was fully guided by the client’s lifestyle and busy family, with room for the children to grow. The open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area is the heart of the home. Flanked by two full-height fireplaces, the space’s neutral colour palette allows the periwinkle kitchen island and navy hutch, evocative of Bermuda’s notably blue waters, to stand proud as the showpieces. Next to the island, a large viewing window on the floor offers a glimpse of the wine cellar in the basement below. “It makes quite the impression on visitors,” says Woods.
A Rising Star, James McDonald
In just five years at OBMI, Project Manager James McDonald has several significant projects in his portfolio, from a private game lodge in South Africa to residences and amenity buildings at high-end BVI development Oil Nut Bay. He is trusted to meet with high net-worth stakeholders and oversee large-scale construction projects.“James doesn’t just work with the team but frequently begins to lead the team to inspire creativity,” OBMI CEO Doug Kulig says. “He is passionate about OBMI remaining leaders in innovation and he’s been a critical advocate, leader, and trainer in implementing new technology to our firm.”
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