Award-winning architecture

Grand Harbour home.
Grand Harbour home. Photos by Mark Lewis Photography

Best architecture for single residence in the Caribbean 2018.

For a single-family home, the award-winning house at Grand Harbour is somewhat on the large side.

In fact, it is 7,500 square feet with five bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms, as well as expansive public areas, pool deck, balconies and roof terraces.

Although it is a substantial size even for upscale homes in the Grand Harbour area, it’s the property’s architectural elements that attracted the award, rather than its grandeur.

The house won the Best Architecture for a Single Residence in the Caribbean in the regional finals of the 2018 International Property Awards and automatically goes to the global finals, which will be announced in London in December 2018.

Grand Harbour home pool.

Clean lines

Designed by Cayman Islands architect Robert Towell, the canal-front house leans towards uncomplicated modern contemporary style with clean lines, a minimalist approach and bold, contrasting accents.

Robert’s brief from the owner was to create a home suitable for an indoor-outdoor Caribbean lifestyle.

“The importance of boating and outdoor living could not be over-stated, which was a major requirement for the design concept,” he says. “The interior space has been designed with contrasting bold wall colors, which add to the effects of natural light and shadow, depending on the time in the day, providing a modern, gallery-style interior.”

The master bedrooms and guest room are positioned at opposite ends of the ground floor with an impressive double-height living and dining space in the middle.

There are 10-foot-high hurricane-impact, sliding glass doors in all rooms with 30-foot-wide sliding glass panel doors in the entertainment areas, creating a seamless transition between the interior and the outdoors.

Also on the main floor are an intimate family media room, a small office and a dedicated bar with sliding door panels on three sides that catch the trade wind breezes. These are all adjacent to the outdoor barbecue, al fresco dining area and pool.

Upstairs, on the second level, two children’s bedrooms are separated by a suspended catwalk and an open-concept fitness room with glass handrails and views to the lower level and canal. Above this, the roof terrace – accessed by a distinctive three-story stair tower – offers 360-degree panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea in the distance.

Robert finished the project in October 2017, so the timing was ideal for the 2018 International Property Awards.

“The modern design style was different for Cayman, so it stood out,” says Robert. “The submission also required a sustainable project, which was recognized during the judging process.”

These sustainable features include energy efficient insulated concrete form (ICF) walls, spray foam under all roof areas, connection for future solar panels, propane generator use, large roof overhangs on terraces, energy efficient propane appliances, and an air conditioning system that is also highly energy efficient.

Grand Harbour home interior, looking down on to natural wood dining table with chairs.

Triple success

The winning submission was one of three successes for the Cayman Islands at the 2018 regional heats of the International Property Awards. The Residences of Stone Island, developed by Fraser Wellon, were named Best Residence and Best Residential Development in the Caribbean, while the NCB Group’s Cayman Technology Centre won for Best Office Development in the Caribbean.

“The Cayman Islands is a very small place and it’s fantastic to have three separate firms walk away with awards of excellence in their perspective categories,” says Robert. “This continues to raise the bar for projects here on the island, which is already evident.”

It is also the second year in a row that the Cayman Islands has shone at the awards. In 2017, the design/build company Encompass scooped the Best Single Residential Property in the World for their villa Sun Serenity, after winning in the regional heats a few months earlier.

Grand Harbour home kitchen.