Linger Longer, Grand Cayman
Winner of the 2017 Governor's Award for design and construction excellence, Linger Longer integrates traditional cooling techniques with cutting edge building science, in a comfortable family abode.
Words by Natasha Were. Photography by www.heatherholt.com and www.patrickcoulie.com
Located on a tranquil canal with far reaching views down the waterway, Linger Longer is a warm and welcoming home that was designed around the owners’ lifestyle. Being avid boaters and fishermen, a canal front lot was key to keeping their boat close at hand; beyond that, being able to indulge in their love of cooking and entertaining was a priority. This meant a large chef’s kitchen, a barbecue area and enough space, indoors and out, to gather comfortably with friends. Plus, the owners wanted a Caribbean-style home and it had to be economical to cool.
Working closely with architect and LEED consultant Stace McGee, the design they ultimately settled on was a single storey, three-bedroom home featuring a square floor plan and a cupola, or clear storey, positioned above the heart of the home.
Pitched roofs, clapboard siding and shady overhangs met the owners’ desire for a Caymanian aesthetic, but also allowed the architect to use time-tested traditional techniques to promote natural cooling: covered porches protect interiors from the direct sun, high ceilings allow hot air to rise away from the occupants and the cupola, positioned above the kitchen, has remote-controlled windows on all sides which let natural light pour in whilst simultaneously venting heat from the living spaces.
Raised 11 feet above sea level, the house catches more of the breeze and is protected from dangerous storm surges. The addition of a breezeway between the front door and the garage, meanwhile, creates a Venturi effect, further increasing airflow and pulling warm air out of the house. Coupled with a highly insulated envelope and efficient air-conditioning units, the design has earned LEED gold certification, and utility bills are lower than the owners previously paid in a house less than half the size.
At 3,000 square feet, the dimensions are still relatively modest, but the easy flow between the kitchen, living and dining room, and multiple sets of glass doors connecting living spaces to the terrace and canal views, all contribute to light-filled interiors and a sense of spaciousness.
Indoors, white painted beams and sloping ceilings combined with vivid splashes of colour lend an inviting Caribbean cottage feel. Just the right dash of modernity is created through a few carefully chosen contemporary pieces; such as, the distinctive Currey and Co. Chandelier over the dining table, wave-pattern bathroom tiles from ITC, island inspired window treatments by Edies’ Décor and a 9 x 5 pivoting front door. Acres of countertop provide ample prep space in the kitchen and small appliances and clutter are kept well out of sight thanks to Pooleys Cabinets’ storage solutions - pull out shelves, drawer systems and pop-up outlets.
After a successful fishing trip, however, the outdoor kitchen really comes into its own. Equipped with a barbecue, grill and smoker, seafood sensations can be whipped up as soon as they are brought ashore, whilst friends mingle around the pool.
Linger Longer was neither built nor decorated with an unlimited budget and some tough choices had to be made as to where and when to spend a little extra on statement pieces and features that added that all important wow-factor. One such choice that may have gone over budget but was worth every cent was the Lightstream glass tiles that shimmer along the pool’s waterline in shades of gold, violet, green and blue. Designed by Oasis Pool & Spa and built by Pool Patrol, the result is, in the owners’ words, "ridiculously beautiful."
More than a decade before they purchased the lot at Canal Point, the owners had been dreaming of a green home, keeping note of the features their ideal house would have.
When that same wish list came to light during the construction process, they were delighted to find that every item on the list had been incorporated. In Linger Longer they have built a home that is not just sustainable, but that fits their style, location and leisure activities.
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