The location for this guesthouse is a stunning landscape with panoramic views of a sound dotted with small islands and glimpses of a beautiful arcing bay. The ground is undulating with scaevola, dry shrub, cactus and mini silver palms pitted against a limestone terrain with sink holes. There is beauty in the azure blue of the water and in the rawness of the rocky ground. Our immediate thought was to tread lightly here. Any construction must try to leave the ground untouched where possible whilst providing space in which to enjoy the setting and optimise the views. The concept of a delicate cabin sitting above the terrain is enticing, yet the negatives of timber construction in the saline environment and the prospect of hurricanes lead us to think differently, whilst trying to attain the qualities of a cabin ‘held aloft’.
We have proposed a concept of a ‘cradle’ of stone walls that hold a lighter structure within. The walls could be the only thing bearing on the ground with the slabs spanning between them. This structural solution is in some way like the sink-holes that delicately cradle loose plant-matter inthe crevices of the site. The roof appears to float above the stone walls and is slightly depressed in a ‘butterfly-roof’ formation to enhance the experience of the interiors opening-up toward the panoramic views. The same strategy is applied to the plan - with the ‘pinch’ at the centre of the east-facing facade amplifying the experience of entering and then being drawn to the landscape views. This solution was also adopted to reduce the apparent size of the building by it receding in scale at the middle from a number of key views.