The Barcadere Marina in George Town is the winner of the 2013 Governor’s Award for Design and Construction Excellence in the Cayman Islands. The marina, boat yard and yacht club project also received a special commendation from Governor Duncan Taylor for excellence in sustainability and the environment.
Developer Neville Scott said, “What a sincere honour it is to have a dream that I’ve had for so long materialise, and not just materialise, but be acknowledged.”
Other projects short-listed for the bi-annual award include Kirk Harbour Centre on the George Town waterfront, a legal office building in West Bay and Willow House office building in Cricket Square. The awards ceremony was held Thursday evening at Government House, the official residence of the Cayman Islands governor.
Endorsed by the governor, the award is presented by the Cayman Society of Architects, Surveyors and Engineers, and the Cayman Contractors Association.
The Barcadere Marina is a reinvigoration of the oldest documented barcadere in Grand Cayman, which had been decommissioned after the airport opened in 1954. The project’s design is influenced by Caymanian, Jamaican and Floridian architecture, while using contemporary materials and construction techniques. Environmental considerations are apparent in the project’s site selection, materials and other features, including a 20-kilowatt solar array.
Wil Steward, managing director of project designer Chalmers Gibbs Architects, said, “This was kind of an amazing project, in a sense, because I think it embodies the courage a local developer has had in a horrible economy to invest huge amounts of money and time in a project that really all of us had some commercial doubts about. In the end, it’s been a huge success. I think it’s due to the courage of Neville and the foresight of a lot of really great consultants.”
Barcadere Marina contractors include Phoenix Construction and Arch & Godfrey (Cayman) Ltd. BCQS International led project and cost management. The civil engineer was Arch Engineering Ltd., now AMR Consulting Engineers. Consultants were APEC Consulting Engineers Ltd. (structural), Mega Systems (electrical) and Polar Bear Air Condition (air conditioning).
Members of the winning team behind the Barcadere Marina also contributed to other short-listed projects. For example, APEC, Arch & Godfrey and BCQS were involved in Kirk Harbour Centre. The architects for that project were US firm BTA Architects and local firm Burns Conolly Group Ltd.
Arch Engineering (now AMR) was the structural engineer for the West Bay office building, which is a renovation and expansion of the property formerly containing Spurgeon Ebanks’ hardware store in the early 1970s and later the Republix supermarket in the late 1990s. The historical structure was built in 1948. The new office building for Bodden & Bodden Attorneys at Law was designed by architect DDL Studio Ltd., with the main contractor being Surebuilt Construction Ltd.
Chalmers Gibbs was also the architect for Willow House, with BCQS as project manager and APEC as structural engineer. The contractor was McAlpine Ltd., and the developer is Orchid Development and Realty Ltd.
Governor Taylor said, “It’s critical for us to keep improving the built environment as we put up new buildings and improve or refurbish old buildings. I’ll say the projects that I have had the privilege of getting to know through this award have been, without exception, interesting, and in some cases, quite stunning. I’ve been really impressed by the quality of the projects that have been put forward.”
Other submissions this year were 94 Solaris Avenue in Camana Bay, Appleby tower in George Town, the George Town Library, Mayfair House in Britannia Estates and a Spanish colonial revival house in the Yacht Club neighbourhood.
The first Governor’s Award event was held in 2010. The winners were Elmslie Memorial Church in George Town and the Camana Bay Town Centre. In 2011, the winner was Seagrape House in the Frank Sound area. The judges’ commendation for excellence in sustainability and the environment went to Lighthouse Point in West Bay.
At Thursday’s event, Governor Taylor quipped, “We’ve come from, in the first year having one award where we couldn’t actually decide who to give it to so we gave out two, to this year having two awards and we’ve actually given out one, as it were. We’ve had one winner for two awards as opposed to having two winners for one award.”
This year’s judges include Heber Arch, Norman Bodden, Gary Benham, Jacqueline Bleicher, Jim Scott and Natalie Urquhart.
Arch & Godfrey Managing Director Garth Arch said, “Since its inception in 2010, the Governor’s Award has evolved into a successful programme that continues to inspire design and construction excellence in the Cayman Islands. Over the course of the past three years, numerous outstanding projects nominations have been submitted, which is a testimony to the quality of Cayman’s built environment. As you can see by this year’s submissions, the standard of excellence continues.”