Salt Creek Synergy

 

Sandy, the
former senior vice president of Dart, designed the landscaping for Salt Creek,
a process that encompassed the private homes and public spaces. However, Sandy
attributes the success of Salt Creek to the culmination of many elements
working in harmony, such as the land planning, architecture, and, of course,
landscaping. 

“I think
the land planning at Salt Creek was more important than the landscaping,”
explains Sandy, who now runs his own design consultancy company, Urquhart.
“Land planning is the organisation of the fundamental, ground-breaking issues,
like the position of the house on the block. Many canal developments in Cayman
don’t pay attention to this. 

“Salt
Creek’s uniqueness lies in the quality of the housing. We wanted to keep the
environment in its natural state.”   

The
preservation of the mangroves was essential to Salt Creek, Sandy says, for both
environmental and aesthetic reasons. It enabled the protection of this crucial
vegetation without detracting from the visual allure of the homes.  

“Mangroves
are the most productive forest in the world,” Sandy says. “By keeping the
mangroves, you are taking care of the little lobsters and fish that are
protected by the mangroves. It also softens the transition between the land and
the water. In most canal-front homes, the transition between the land and the
water is very aggressive. The mangroves soften this experience. It is more
environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing.” 

Within
Salt Creek, Sandy used predominantly native and indigenous vegetation, much of
which was sourced from the extensive Dart Nursery. From the mangroves, the
landscaping becomes more organised closer to the homes, creating an
evolutionary effect. While similar material has been used in each garden, the
looks are strikingly diverse.  

“I
consider the native and indigenous plants the skeleton of the body. They are
the kidneys, the lungs, the heart,” explains Sandy, who also had a hand in the
interior design of some of the homes. “The plastic surgery is the exotic
plants. 

“[At Dart
Nursery] we spent a lot of time studying and researching the plants that should
accompany this environment. Each garden is different, but we used similar
materials to create different looks. We had to take into account the North East
winds, which are the predominant winds for these particular plots,” Sandy
continues.  

“I treat
the canals as I would treat a street.” 

The blocks
within Salt Creek are located close together, yet thick vegetation creates a
sense of privacy and intimacy within the homes; each garden feels like a
sanctuary and barely a sound can be heard from neighbouring yards.  

When it
came to the public spaces, such as the streetscape and the amenities, Sandy was
aware of the importance of creating multi-functional areas, which could be used
for relaxation and recreation. He wanted the streets to be welcoming to
homeowners, reflecting Salt Creek’s emphasis on community.  

“I believe
each house gifts its front to the street. The road is like a park. It’s shady,
it’s great for exercise, for prams and for people to walk,” Sandy says. “I like
to use interesting details in the landscaping. There is an enormous amount of
public space at Salt Creek.”  

Attention to detail and exceptional
quality are not only hallmarks of Sandy’s work, but of Salt Creek as a whole.
 

  

So, when Dart Realty wanted to
create a stunning gate for Salt Creek, a gate that would welcome homeowners and
visitors to the community, they turned to Karoly.  

The result is a unique, sweeping
gate that immediately captures the eye, yet remains true to the essence of Salt
Creek. 

“Dart showed me the [Salt Creek]
logo and asked me to build a gate based on that,” explains Karoly, the owner of
Artisan Metal Works. “They wanted people to know as soon as they saw the gate
that were at Salt Creek. They did not want people to second guess where they
were.”  

The gate is made of aluminum, a
metal Karoly chose for its ability to withstand the elements. It was painted
with a patina to create an aged effect. The same materials are also used in the
Salt Creek sign, which was reproduced on a rock face at the entrance to the
community. It is a subtle touch, capturing the exceptional quality and
exclusivity for which Karoly has become known.  

In addition to the gate, Karoly’s
influence can be seen throughout Salt Creek; he created the custom street
signs, using an aged copper, as well as the distinctive bronze house numbers,
which are placed in the lawn of every home. “There is a real attention to
detail at Salt Creek that you don’t see in other developments,” Karoly says.  

Within the private homes, Karoly
was commissioned to design a number of spectacular garden features. In one
home, an intricate gate of seagrape leaves, made of copper, opens into a
stunning, waterfront garden. Another home features an outdoor shower, in the
design of a sunflower; it is a work of art, reflecting Karoly’s ability to
create unique pieces beyond the imagination.  

“The sunflower shower had to look
natural within its surroundings,” Karoly says. “A regular plastic outdoor
shower would not work in this environment.” Karoly loved being involved with
Salt Creek, and hopes to work within the community, in both the private and
public spaces, on future projects.  

“I’m very happy to be part of Salt Creek,” he says. “The
development is very unique and out of the ordinary. This is something I love to
do.”   

Sandy Urquhart 

believes the connection between a
building and its environment should be seamless. It was with this philosophy
that he approached the design of Salt Creek, creating a stunning community that
is effortlessly in tune with its surroundings.
 

Karoly
Szücs
 

is known for his artistic metalwork
designs.
 

Salt creek

Sandy Urquhart
India Lloyd