We’re all familiar with the trademarks of traditional Caribbean architecture. Wrap around verandahs, louvered windows, stone walls, arched doorways and colourful shutters functioning as both embellishment and protection. These homes have long served as staples of our history, peppering the shorelines and hilltops of Providenciales, from the original settlements, to the first wave of foreigner migration to T&C’s shores, with builds pioneered by the Ward family.
With development now taking on more of a steady rolling swell, rather than a crest with peaks and troughs, the last decade of T&C’s home design has seen the emergence of a more contemporary aesthetic. As a personal example I (FINALLY) made the transition from an open air home with louvered windows and gorgeous breezes through most of the year, to hurricane rated glass windows and an eco-friendly air condition system 🙂 As an avid lover of traditional Caribbean design, I never thought I’d say this, but I haven’t looked back since.
My example is a humble residential perspective of someone who feels deep roots to this timeless aesthetic, but with a steady influx of international buyers, I’m not alone in my pursuit of home design with an increasingly modern tilt. Below are 3 architectural firms that are truly transforming the landscape of Providenciales and redefining how we think about Caribbean design:
London and TCI based firm Blee Halligan Architects cut their teeth as development partner to Windward on the Blue Cay project and have continued this partnership on the South Bank project and The Peninsula at Emerald Estate, four standalone contemporary Beach Houses on the exclusive northeastern tip of Leeward, which are undeniably the showpiece properties of the collection. Blee also works on private projects throughout Providenciales, building on their design ethos of building in nature; designing for specific geographic, climatic and cultural nuances of the locale.
Beach Enclave is known for outside the box thinking, enter stage left, the first ever South American architectural firm to design in the Turks and Caicos. Hired to create minimalist low impact designs for the Beach Enclave Long Bay expansion and Beach Enclave North Shore second phase, Jacobsen Arquitetura successfully provided integrated designs to two seemingly varying sites. Linear design using natural materials, space and light, combine to create comforting ordered spaces with zero distractions to evoke a feeling of calm, provided by both the clean interiors and tropical views the designs overlook.
With over 20 years’ experience designing homes in Turks & Caicos as well as an international presence in Ireland and Great Britain, James Hamilton Architects pride themselves on empathetic design, with their clients needs at the heart of their process. A browse through their website will illustrate the numerous projects they’ve been involved in, and the varied nature of the homes they can produce. A personal favourite is Villa Fred, which marries the softness of cedar shingled roofing, order of symmetry and more modern linear elements like planked roofing, recessed lighting and pocket sliding doors opening to expansive views.