Edgley Design completes a Caribbean house inspired by a Moroccan Riad
This five bedroom house is sited on a steep hillside in dense forest on the island of Bequia in the Caribbean. The design is inspired by traditional Moroccan courtyard houses, where a series of intimate spaces surround water, providing shelter from the sun throughout the day and cooling humidity from the pool. To the exterior the building reads as a series of slender towers rising up out of the dense foliage of the hillside, rendered in a pale green to blend in to its environment.
The house is designed as a series of experiences that open out as the house is explored. The site is accessed along a winding mountain road, and as you descend the steep drive all that can be seen is a long low wall giving the impression is of a small private house. To the north of the courtyard a large hall provides eating and dining areas, and creates a sequence of spaces from a delicate balcony entrance suspended high over the treetops, through the public hall to the private towers beyond. Each bedroom tower has a living space below and a private access stair.
The property is designed to work with its environment, which is a necessity in a location where there is no mains water or gas, with expensive and intermittent electricity. Water is stored in 400,000 gallons tanks under the building that take two years to fill. The building is designed to allow the prevailing winds to flow through the house, running between the towers from east to west. Huge doors in the main hall can be left open day and night, and evaporating water from the pool helps cool the air. All this means that despite the hot climate the building has no air conditioning and is comfortable throughout the day.