A rare aquatic residence
Water, that most magical and mystical of elements, when integrated with architecture, has rewarded humankind with some of the most wondrous and exceptional environments ever conceived and built.
Scientific research has shown that our physical presence in, on, or near water will elicit and produce the sense of calm, well-being and overall happiness we all seek.
This aquatic house in St Ann, just west of Ocho Rios, was conceptualised and realised with reservoirs of water, surprisingly contained and controlled, as the driving force of its design.
Wherever you turn, water is everywhere, with its ever-tranquilising, reflective image, making a splash with the architecture.
Almost all private pools in Jamaica are to be found on the outside. Not this one! The owners wanted to be bold and unique, and so a heated pool (with surrounding deck area) was constructed literally right inside the house! So jump in and enjoy at any time – say 2 a.m., within the safety of the secured indoors.
The whirlpool spa is not located in the bathroom as most are, islandwide. Rather, this circular, very large one, is inside part of the living area, where you and several friends can sit, soak and be invigorated. Forget the sofa.
Jacuzzi tubs are in all six en-suite bathrooms, continuing the deliberate fixation with the physical and mental therapeutic effects of water throughout.
The well-laid-out and colourful surrounding landscape, on two acres, is an oasis of beauty with an extensive lily fish pond, whose dimensions seemingly has no bounds – running endlessly along the gravel, palm tree-lined driveway.
A cascading, stone waterfall (complete with wooden bridge), has a playful visual effect in the garden.
Outdoors also relaxes, with four elevated sun decks, a barbeque grill and dining gazebo.
Still more water! A private beach is mere yards away, where it meets river and waterfall.
The whopping 10,000 square foot deluxe, mediterranean style house, faces you from different angles, comprising: ground and upper floor living room, sitting areas and a family room. Complementing this is an eight–seater dining room, a breakfast area, powder room and a swim–up wet bar, quenching those both inside the pool and living room simultaneously.
The island kitchen reveals ceiling height combination glass and wood cabinetry, with a pass–thru counter.
A porte cochere (covered area providing access for cars at entrance door), is positioned near the automated enclosed double carport.
The expensive fittings and finishes are of a very high quality with impeccable attention to detail, i.e. wainscoting, granite, marble and porcelain. Lots of the tall windows and mirrored doors; tray ceilings and slate roofing; glass blocks and wood trim.
Andrea McBean-Stewart (the decorator), and her brothers Norman and Donald McBean (involved in the construction), have made it a family affair by bringing their father’s (who hails from Bellevue, Steer Town, St Ann) dream to fruition.
n Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email: .