A spectacular contemporary home on the waterfront in Rum Point and a tranquil beach house nestled among sea grape trees in Little Cayman share the 2015 Governor’s Award for design and construction excellence.
Despite their contrasting styles, both homes impressed the judges at the biennial awards ceremony because of their harmony with the surrounding natural environment.
The winners were announced Tuesday night in a reception at the governor’s house.
For Raoul Pal, the construction of the beach house close to Point of Sand on Little Cayman was the realization of a dream.
He said the award was deserved recognition for Edgewater Developments, which had taken on the “almost impossible task” of making his dream come true.
He scoured the world, from the Philippines to Tanzania, looking for the perfect slice of tropical beachfront land before finding it in Little Cayman.
“Little Cayman is an unspoiled paradise. I wanted it to be the star attraction and to build a house within that special environment,” said Mr. Pal, who built the home along with Amanda Goodwin.
Kris and Debi Bergstrom, the husband-and-wife team who run Edgewater Developments, say their aim was to create a home that appeared to have been dropped in place amid the splendor of the surrounding landscape.
The lot was hand-cleared and the finished product features three distinct buildings set back from the beach and connected by wooden walkways amid the vegetation.
“It was unique in that it was designed to be upscale and eclectic but to blend in with the Little Cayman landscape,” said Mr. Bergstrom.
Vidal and Lisa Brewer were looking for an ultra-contemporary feel when they commissioned British firm Nicolas Tye Architects to design their Rum Point House in Grand Cayman.
Mrs. Brewer said the idea was for the pool area and outdoor spaces to blend seamlessly with each other and the surrounding space in a daring modern design.
She said the home, which was developed as an investment property, was the couple’s first project in Grand Cayman. “We provided the brief and Nicolas totally understood what we wanted,” she said.
“It is the kind of house that divides opinion. Some people love it, some hate it. It was brilliant to get the award and the recognition because we weren’t sure how it would be received.”
Announcing the winners Tuesday, Governor Helen Kilpatrick said the two projects represent two very different but superbly designed and executed variants of the classic Caribbean beachside residence.
“I am enthusiastic about the awards program and how it continues to celebrate design and construction excellence across the Cayman Islands,” she added.
The governor also announced that James Whittaker and GreenTech Environmental were commended for their “exemplary contribution” to sustainability and environmental awareness in residential building science in the Cayman Islands, and for various education and outreach programs.