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Gregory Patkus & John Burkholder

Consultant architect Gregory Patkus and landscape designer John Burkholder, are working with Manhattan International Group (MIG) on a brilliant and bold new all inclusive tourist destination for visting families.

The Caribbean Market Village (CMV) project in St. Lucia is the future home of private villas, a hotel, children’s village, water park, business suites, shopping plaza and many more opportunities for small businesses.

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RL: How did you both come together to collaborate on the design for CMV?

JB: Greg and I spent over 20 years working together on projects globally, developing a life-long friendship and admiration for each other. When Greg became involved at the CMV, he immediately called me.

GP: Having worked with John on many projects ranging from single family residences to large scale resort projects, I realised that John would be an invaluable addition to our team.

RL: What was your inspiration for the CMV?

JB: For me, the unique personalities and uplifting spirit of the St. Lucian people.

GP: That’s easy – the people of St. Lucia. My time on island has allowed me to really get to know the people and develop a deep respect for the culture. The physical beauty of the mountains, the dynamic Atlantic Ocean and serene Caribbean coast also served as inspiration.

RL: How did your experience working with Disney influence the CMV project?

JB: Greg spent a lot of time working with Disney Florida in the 70’s and in the early 90’s we both worked on the Singapore project. We were exploring the feasibility of developing a destination resort there, studying ways to organise multiple theme parks, hotels, an entertainment complex, parking, and integrating those with the existing and planned transportation systems and the physical features of the land. All of the design and planning considerations we learned associated with choreographing the guest experience – creating a sense of arrival, an authentic sense of place, and a memorable experience while seamlessly providing for the logistical requirements associated with transportation, circulation, operations – came in very handy developing our ideas for CMV.

GP: Disney World is devoted to the total experience of the visitor from the moment of arrival, through the various ‘lands’ to meals and merchandising. In much the same way, the CMV is structured for the visitor’s experience. The major difference is that while the Disney experience is based on a fictional world, the CMV aims to provide the visitor with an authentic encounter.

RL: What do you value most about the project?

JB: Many things – the seaside location; the relationship with the town of Dennery; the focus on local culture, music, food and businesses; and the challenges and opportunities associated with trying to create an authentic St. Lucian place. It’s a great opportunity to be a model for the latest in eco initiatives and technology for an economic and socially sustainable concept.

GP: As a consulting architect, I am excited about the opportunity and challenge to interpret, in a 21st century manner, the St. Lucian architectural heritage for the visitor.

RL: Describe the project concept for tourists and families.

JB: A dynamic and appealing place to experience the island lifestyle and culture – to learn, to recreate, to play. It’s a unique combination of the local arts, agriculture, crafts, music, food, drink, and rituals delivered with pride to them by the local personalities who exemplify what it means to be St. Lucian.

GP: The island is more than beautiful beaches and the majestic Pitons. The CMV will give visitors the opportunity to understand this.

RL: Sheila Newton Moses, the Founder/ Developer, says that the CMV is more than just a project, what does she mean?

JB: This certainly is much more than a ‘project', it’s a gathering place where the exchange of ideas and interactions between guests and hosts is paramount – it’s about human connections.

GP: And its location on a site that slopes from the hills to the Atlantic Ocean will provide spectacular views of the water, mangrove stands as well as the diverse landscape of St. Lucia.

JOHN & GREGORY’S TOP TEN

  • 1. Designer:Renzo Piano
  • 2. Furniture:Adirondack chair
  • 3. Design tool:Black Sign Pen
  • 4. Food:Italian
  • 5. Appliance:Blender
  • 6. Artist:Salvador Dalí
  • 7. Car:Jeep Wrangler
  • 8. Hotel:Any J.W. Marriott hotel
  • 9. Book:The Shipping News by Anne Proulx
  • 10. Holiday:Thanksgiving – that's what it's all about.

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