A private island in the Turks and Caicos is being transformed into a laboratory of contemporary architecture by visionaries Zaha Hadid, Shigeru Ban, David Chipperfield, Carl Ettensperger, Kengo Kuma, Chad Oppenheim and Piero Lissoni. Oppenheim was selected as one of 7 architects to create a series of villas for the Mandarin Oriental Group. The design for the 8 villas emerges from a profound admiration and hyper-sensitivity of Dellis Cay’s unique natural setting.
The intention is to integrate nature as a major ingredient of the material palette. The architecture is reduced to the essential components for shelter—amplifying the ever-changing sky, water and vegetation that define the experience. As the 8 villas are located on the only interior parcels of the island, they are elevated over the treetops to maximize exposure to the wondrous nature about– taking advantage of the views towards the horizon and framing its surroundings.
Their elevated position allows for them to have little impact on the ground plane allowing the undisturbed natural landscape to flow under them as an integral part of the design. The tree-top villas are precisely orientated on their parcels to maximize their performative and experiential qualities, channeling prevailing winds to cool the interior spaces as well as framing sunrises, sunsets, and the path of the moon on either side of the structure. Resources are limited in the island, passive and active mechanisms have been proposed– such as large overhangs, cross-ventilation, use of reclaimed materials, solar hot-water, an insulating green roof, and a rooftop infinity edge pool that doubles as a rainwater collection tank.
Scope: 8 villas, 3,850 SF residences each. Architecture/Interior design
Location: Dellis Cay, Turks & Caicos Islands