Hilltop Houses, St Lucia

The Boucan Hotel at the north end of St Lucia overlooks the famous ‘Piton’, giant and ancient cores of long extinct volcanoes at the centre of a World Heritage site. The hotel is set out in the garden of Rabot Lodge, a French C18 house built in traditional style, forming the Caribbean base for a well known Chocolatier.

The practice was asked to design three additional houses high above the hotel on Rabot Ridge, also facing the ‘Piton’ dramatically profiled against the back drop of the Caribbean Sea.Each house has to perform different functions according to the hotel season and occupation. Designed on two levels, the upper floor provides private accommodation as an apartment. The lower level provides additional rooms, increasing the hotel’s accommodation or working as a large house with the apartment above.

The houses are set slightly down from the crest of the ridge to lower the exposure from hurricanes. The steeply sloping site is cut back into the hill, forming a courtyard to the rear, allowing natural ventilation through the rooms, reducing the need for air-conditioning.

A bridge takes the visitor through an entrance pavilion from the arrival area, across to the main floor of each house.  The pools are stepped down from the lower level to hang dramatically over the jungle below. The concrete and timber main structure is clad in hardwood decking, filigree balconies and metal roofing as a contemporary interpretation of the local traditional style.

Project Value: Undisclosed

Client: Undisclosed