Johnson Design + Architecture
PO Box 886 GT, Cayman Islands
KY1-1103 I 345-938-3828 I

2006 / Hurricane House 2 /

Bought after hurricane Ivan by a young real-estate entrepreneur, the following storm damaged house was renovated to function as a live / work space. Located in a neighborhood where a majority of buildings were structurally unsafe after the hurricane, the decision was made to renovate the building rather than rebuild. By doing so a familiar physical framework is recreated in the community where 80% of the buildings were structurally damaged or demolished from the storm.

The design configures living spaces on the existing top floor and a work space in an addition downstairs. A large central living area glazed with sliding doors along its north and south ends takes advantage of views over the Caribbean ocean (front) and a large mangrove wetland (back), while allowing the space to open up onto an outdoor back deck. The ability to “open up” the shaded space reduces the need for air conditioning by taking advantage of natural cross-ventilation and its open plan allows for functional flexibility. Downstairs works similarly, with a free plan so the occupants can take on a wide variety of work activities.

Located in a particularly vulnerable part of the island to hurricanes and across the street from the ocean, the building is designed to accept flooding caused by severe storms. Limited finishes were used downstairs lending to the feeling of a loft-like space. This is an attempt to design for new climatic conditions in the Caribbean, which promise more intense hurricanes and tropical storms in the coming years.

Collaborators /