This breezy island retreat is anchored to the high, rocky peninsula of Pointe Milou on the French-Caribbean island of St. Barth’s. The plan was generated by the narrow, east-west lot with neighbors on both sides. The architects wanted to funnel views toward both the sunrise at one end and the sunset at the other. Island zoning allowed for only 3,000 square feet of interior space, so everything was done to create as much outdoor living area as possible. The broad bluestone terrace and wrap-around deck provide an additional 3,500 square feet of space. The plan widens and flares out to the west, like a lens, looking out over an elliptical infinity pool and the waters of Baie St. Jean. The master bedroom commands the eastern end of the house while to the north, three guest bedrooms step down to their own walled gardens and outdoor showers. The house is both grounded and airy, heavy and light. The rugged texture of the stone walls and columns gives it an ancient, protected feeling. Interior floors are made from sucupira, a Brazilian wood that is highly durable and resistant to rot. The lighter-than-air awning is made from white canvas supported by eight bow trusses and a sixty-foot-long stainless-steel beam. This upward curving aileron canopy provides shade for outdoor living and gives the otherwise static house a sense of uplift and movement.
“The house is both grounded and airy, heavy and light.”