100 Pond Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
A geometric masterpiece marks a line in the sand on Virgin Gorda, The British Virgin Islands.
Words by Caroline Key. Photography by Don Hebert.
One hundred and seventy-five miles east of Puerto Rico lies the pristine isle of Virgin Gorda, home to dramatic stretches of velvet sand coastline, beryl blue waters, and 100 Pond Bay – a critically acclaimed contemporary six-bedroom, seven bathroom luxury villa that honours simplicity and demonstrates that less can be more, even at the five-star level.
When owners, Lynn Fisher Hill and Fred Hill, first set foot on the island some twenty years ago, it was the sheer beauty, seclusion and unfettered tranquillity that kept calling them back from their native New York. Now, some two decades later, with the help of friend and architect Jon Nathanson, the Hills have translated first impressions into an avant-garde hillside hideaway. Created as a secondary holiday home-cum-destination villa, this striking abode has been five years in the making and marks Lynn and Fred’s third project with the architect. Incorporating high design with practical features, their unique coastal retreat comprises four guest pavilions, a master suite, fitness studio, nanny’s quarters and entertainment house, and can blossom into an exquisite family residence or compartmentalise to an intimate pied-à-terre for two.
“Initially we were working on designs for a waterfront lot but we had the opportunity to move to a steep slope lot – a 30-60-90 degree triangular site with a diagonal change in grade of 50 feet, offering breathtaking panoramas across both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean,” explains Nathanson. “The goal was to produce something eye-catching, sculptural and elegant, evolving from the character of the site. The pavilions took on the form of an iguana climbing the hill and the rooms have an open, air-filled and sail-like quality.”
“Thick, rectangular openings and unique geometrics in the roofs and walls frame the moving views beyond.”
With a dramatic view providing the backbone of the project, Nathanson felt it important to set the scene. Follow a series of xeriscaped paths, stairways and shaded grottos to the main pavilion where two triangular floating-edge pools provide the focal point and context is revealed with form and space at the forefront. Thick, rectangular openings and unique geometrics in the roofs and walls frame the moving views beyond. Retractable doors and vaulted ceilings blend interior and exterior space, and built-in lounge beds set the horizontal divisions bringing about balance. A modern take on vernacular Caribbean architecture, the property utilises concrete block bearing walls and bent hipped roofs. Heavy-framed Cyprus timbers and tongue and groove ceilings feature throughout. While measures have been taken to protect against the elements, the property has also been designed work with Mother Nature – state-of-the-art solar panels, rainwater collection, water filtration, and most notably, aspect design. Set on an east-west axis – positioned two feet higher than the next – each suite boasts wide-angle ocean views, total privacy from the other, and takes full advantage of the cross-channel breezes.
Offering peace, tranquillity and all the creature comforts expected with a property of this calibre, 100 Pond Bay realises a tropical idyll. The main pavilion provides a family-oriented gathering space for eating and socialising, while spacious en-suite bathrooms, loft-like king bedrooms, canopy beds, alfresco shower courtyards and covered patios provide more intimate surroundings for downtime. The master suite, a self-contained deluxe pavilion complete with gourmet kitchen and walled garden, even has its own private cocktail pool. As you move through the property, you become aware of the complementary colour palette says Nathanson. “The intention was to create an inner landscape that melds with the texture and coloration of the hillside.” Reflecting the crisp architecture, furnishings are clean and uncomplicated. Tawny shades of white and cream are interspersed with stainless steel accents providing a light, open feel. Marble floors and countertops are sheathed in gold quartzite, adding depth. Exuding peace and serenity throughout, this spectacular modern home plays with shape and form to gracefully blend contemporary comforts with natural splendour. Testament to the strength of the owners’ vision, it hits all the right angles.
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