Working within bylaw design constraints can be challenging, and when those bylaws are in the Caribbean, it adds a whole other layer of complication. In the case of the PEAK Caribbean Residence, design regulations aimed to mimic the Mediterranean of the Renaissance era rather than the Caribbean of the 21st century. Requirements included sloped roofs with terra cotta tiles, pale stucco exterior walls, and front facades with window types that harked back to individuated room layouts.
Contrasting these somewhat archaic design conditions was a young family with 3 children who desired a modern year-round home that spatially and aesthetically reflected their informal family lifestyle.
Always ready to take on even the most confounding of design challenges, we countered the Mediterranean standard of making already-large homes appear even larger with continuous, imposing blocks, by strategically breaking down the space needs of the client – living room/kitchen, dining, bedrooms, study, library, home theatre, games room, and garage – into separate volumes.
By offsetting these volumes as if they were blocks being stacked and pulled apart, covered outdoor terraces were created below and between the blocks. For example, by separating the volume holding the family’s informal living/kitchen area and the volume housing a garage and games room, a shaded, outdoor living area is created. Similarly, rather than adding an opulent “portico” entryway, a low-slung, bedroom volume above created a modest, recessed entrance.
For the PEAK Caribbean Residence, the end result manages to adhere to restrictive bylaws without compromising architectural integrity. And the sloped terra cotta roof that was originally seen to be our greatest bylaw stumbling block, ended up being the most striking design component of the structure. Unlike traditional Mediterranean roofs with numerous, discontinuous slope lines, we developed a simple, sculptural roof that is reduced to 2 slopes with a single ridge that runs the length of the home.
Paul duBellet Kariouk (Principal)
Chris Davis (Senior Design Associate)
Adam Paquette (Design Associate)
Steve Schuhmann (Design Associate)
Alan Veeran, Smart Construction Management Ltd
Mark Reed, AMR Consulting Engineers
Martyn Poynor, Photography