Caribbean Roots, International Growth
Words by Natasha Were.
OBMI designs island residences, vacation villas, luxury resorts and smart commercial spaces in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Their extensive portfolio is Caribbean style infused with an international perspective.
A master planning, architecture and design firm, OBMI is rooted in the Caribbean. Founded over 80 years ago in Bermuda and with a studio in the Cayman Islands that dates back half a century, OBMI has played a key role in shaping the built environment in which we live and work today.
The local OBMI Cayman office is the creative force behind projects such as the contemporary Ritz-Carlton Deckhouses, the classic Government Office Accommodation Project (GOAP) building, colonial Elizabethan Square, the modern Cayman Conference Centre, a myriad of condominiums and several private island residences.
"There is immense satisfaction in designing these three-dimensional objects that become part of the fabric of people’s lives," says OBMI Chairman Tim Peck.
Internationally, the firm boasts an array of luxurious homes and commercial spaces throughout the Caribbean, as well as hospitality and mixed-use developments in Europe and the Middle East.
No matter where the firm takes on a project it is guided by the same principles that have underpinned its work since the beginning: to offer a personalised service where clients’ ideas and wishes are heard. The result is the creation of designs that are appropriate to the context and that respect the natural, social and cultural environment of the destinations in which they work.
DESIGNS FOR THE FUTURE
Because so many of OBMI’s projects take place in pristine environments, assessing and mitigating the long-term impact their projects will have, not only on the land but also on the local communities that surround them, is always a priority.
As a natural extension of this, OBMI strives to create low-impact, sustainable designs that are efficient to operate: by incorporating renewable energy technologies such as solar arrays and Tesla Powerwalls, buildings can function independently of local power supplies and benefit from lower utility costs.
Keen advocates of the power of new technologies, OBMI’s digital design team, led by the team in Cayman, is constantly testing and implementing the latest developments in architectural design software.
"As the world of architecture evolves and changes we strive to stay on top of the game. We continue to explore new technologies to lead us on more efficient paths to the creation of built form. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry and use the latest tools to help our clients realise their dream homes," says Mikhail Chin, senior architect.
Thanks to their skill with 3D modelling, photorealistic renderings, and virtual reality experiences, clients can be fully immersed in OBMI’s designs before a single stone has been moved.
Across its seven offices OBMI’s staff numbers nearly 100 creative, adventurous and talented individuals. Originating from 38 nations, this multinational, multicultural team ensures each project benefits from an international perspective, whilst the collaborative approach of the company engages the passions and expertise of every member. Through the firm’s Centres of Excellence (virtual design studios) design teams in different offices can work together, sharing resources regardless of geographic location. Over the course of its 50-year history in the Cayman Islands, OBMI Cayman is proud to have trained and nurtured a variety of young talents, including John Doak, Brian J. Macdonald, Cindy O’Hara and Brian Ekells, who have contributed to OBMI’s most prominent projects including GOAP, The Harquail Theatre, and Cayman Islands National Museum. OBMI is proud that these designers have gone on to become established figures in the local community.
Drawing on decades of experience and harnessing the best new technologies, OBMI creates designs that their clients may never have imagined: spaces that take clients out of their everyday lives and are experiences in themselves.
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