Smith Ekblad & Associates have been shortlisted for the Beach House award in the International Design & Architecture Awards 2014.
Their clients’ decision to build a vacation retreat in Jamaica came after years of enjoying the island and its vibrant culture. In appreciation for the area’s history and people, they observed many local traditions during the planning and building process. Not only did they engage local builders and craftsmen using native techniques, but they respected spiritual traditions by welcoming a house blessing by a local holy man.
Planned as both a personal refuge and a rental property, the structure needed to accommodate a variety of activities and types and sizes of groups. As serious art collectors, the owners selected art by significant Jamaican painters and sculptors. The designer also worked directly with local artisans, furniture makers, and fabricators to create many items for the house, although the majority of building materials and furnishings requires shipping to this relatively isolated island.
LED and natural lighting were unified throughout to conserve energy. Low maintenance textiles, insect resistant woods, and other materials were used both inside and out of this airy and comfortable home.
New, repurposed, and antique furniture were combined in an effect to avoid a too “new” or overly decorated look. A simple watery palette unifies the fabrics, pool tiles, and metals on the broad verandas while lighter, more “Jamaican” colours were used to further reflect the happy and brightly hued palette so deeply associated with this beautiful nation.