Synopsis: An outcropping on a volcanic rock island sets the scene for a four-part home. A concrete canopy funnels rainfall to cisterns and guards the house against rock-foundation erosion. The Caribbean sunlight, air, sea breezes, salt, and tropical vegetation aromas enrich the residents’ sensory experience.
Detailed Description: This house sits on a volcanic rock island that wind-tossed waters transformed over centuries to create varied topographical patterns. Water and vegetation support a delicate ecology in this rugged setting.
The site, an outcropping rising 30 feet above the waterline, offers 270-degree views of the seascape and distant islands. A large concrete canopy collects the 40-inch annual rainfall and funnels it to the cisterns below the first-floor podium. The overhang also shades the spaces beneath.
Four independent structures are linked by interstitial spaces located partially or entirely beneath the major canopy and smaller roof projections. The indoor-outdoor transitions are spatially multi-layered. Pools reflect bold colors, including the brilliant blues of Caribbean skies and seas. Light, air, sea breezes, salt, and tropical vegetation aromas enrich the sensory experience. The destructive effects of tropical storms and winds are mitigated with shutters and doors, designed integrally with the walls and piers. The concrete superstructure is clad in stucco and native stone. The first-floor podium is raised to house the cisterns below and to limit excavation of the rock.