“There’s a sense of a ship floating on the water,” says Frank Hamilton, the architect behind the luxurious Villa Kishti, located off the north shore of Anguilla, in an area referred to as Black Garden Bay. The owner of this seemingly floating oasis, is Suresh Bhalla, a retired banker who moved from India to Toronto nearly 40 years ago at the age of 28. Suresh and his wife Kutan visited Anguilla on the recommendation of a friend who had touted the island as the “Nantucket of the Caribbean,” with its quiet, unspoiled nature and pristine beaches.”
After a short visit to the island, Suresh and Kutan decided to make Anguilla a more permanent vacation destination for their family. They purchased a piece of land on the north shore of the island, which would serve as the foundation for an architectural masterpiece—one that would allow the Caribbean Sea to take centre stage.
Having known and worked with Frank Hamilton on a number of projects over a 15-year period, Suresh and his wife felt more than confident that Hamilton was the best architect to design a home that would look as if it were floating on water. They wanted the water as an element of the home itself, not only as a visual backdrop.
Hamilton clearly understood the vision and the soothing energy Suresh and Kutan wished to capture and evoke for their island oasis. However, Hamilton had one concern—concrete. Hamilton worried about the need for so much concrete in order to bring to life the home he was beginning to imagine. Anguilla contractor Audley Carty eased Hamilton’s concerns, and encouraged him to follow through with his idea, and assured him that the sloping concrete roofs would not be a problem. And he was right.
The main focal points of the home were then built with massive glass openings facing the ocean. The lot selection was fortuitous. Hamilton explained, “Having the wedge-shaped land site opening up to the north allowed us to open up the north side without having to worry about too much sun getting in,” allowing him to slant the roof upward to grab views of the ocean and sky.
The couple then commissioned Cecconi Simone as the interior designer for the project. She would bring a contemporary, Asian-inspired motif and minimalistic approach to the interior décor, utilizing elements from Turkey, Italy, Bali, Germany and Toronto. The result: a Zen-like open space that beautifully and delicately marries the elements and textures of the villa with all the natural elements that abound.
Hamilton and Simone focused much of their attention on the outdoor textures and scenery, allowing Mother Nature to play a leading role in their design and inspiration. They wanted the house to be one with the outside, and used earth tones and subtle decor.
The water element is probably the most significant architectural detail, not to mention the most alluring. The property is stunning, minimalistic, soothing and evokes pure tranquillity. It is a haven for relaxation, romantic dining, yoga and stretching in the morning, cocktails at sunset and enough privacy to actually believe you are out to sea, floating on your own luxurious Kishti.