A Rick Joy–Designed Retreat in the Caribbean Encourages an Easy-Breezy State of Mind

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Stretching along a waterfront site in Turks and Caicos, this holiday home by Rick Joy is defined by concrete forms, open passageways, and serenity.

Located near the Southwest coast of the Providenciales, an island in the Turks and Caicos archipelago, Le Cabanon is a family retreat designed by Arizona–based Rick Joy Architects

Joy, a talented desert modernist, has a reputation for heightening the unique qualities of his projects' locations, and Le Cabanon is no exception. Appearing to organically grow from the coastline, its subtly textured concrete form contrasts the brilliant turquoise shade of the surrounding sea much like the white sand that lines the shallow inlet's coastline.

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The home features a long, slender volume that shields the rest of the residence from the noise and movement on the adjacent street.

The home features a long, slender volume that shields the rest of the residence from the noise and movement on the adjacent street.

A generously sized terrace also serves as a link between the private living areas to the west and a living/dining/kitchen pavilion to the east. From the interior, these spaces feel secluded and protected, so much so that the ocean views from the pavilion seem entirely exclusive.

This first volume sits like a long, slender bar providing privacy from the adjacent street. 

This first volume sits like a long, slender bar providing privacy from the adjacent street. 

Taking visual cues from the lush surroundings—which also includes iron shore rock and verdant native vegetation—the architects have produced tactile links between the building and its tropical site. 

 An oversized mahogany door provides a grand entrance to the complex.

 An oversized mahogany door provides a grand entrance to the complex.

Mahogany doors, windows, and ceilings beautifully capture the warmth of the surroundings, and thanks to small, precisely-placed openings in the interior, the perfect amount of light and greenery is filtered inside. 

A terrace connects the living spaces, allowing light and coastal breezes to pass through.

A terrace connects the living spaces, allowing light and coastal breezes to pass through.

The entire house is full of immersive moments. From the corridors, the concrete walls create shallow view-angles that reveal glimpses of each subsequent space and simultaneously frame the bright blue sky above. 

The entire house is full of immersive moments. From the corridors, the concrete walls create shallow view-angles that reveal glimpses of each subsequent space and simultaneously frame the bright blue sky above. 

Constructed by local builders trained by the construction team, the walls used throughout the home have been locally sourced in order to minimize the need of importing building materials. 

In a similar environmentally-conscious spirit, the architects also placed a large cistern beneath the main terrace to harvest water, and topped the flat sections of the roof with photovoltaic panels. 

A dining area opens to the poolside terrace, providing both sea breezes and beautiful views. 

A dining area opens to the poolside terrace, providing both sea breezes and beautiful views. 

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Pablo Designs Uma Sound Lantern
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Even the bedrooms integrate the outdoor spaces into the design. Here, a guest room opens to a small terrace. 

Even the bedrooms integrate the outdoor spaces into the design. Here, a guest room opens to a small terrace. 

A pendant lights hang like flower buds from the ceiling, and long fronds peek in from the adjacent rock-bottomed gardens. 

A pendant lights hang like flower buds from the ceiling, and long fronds peek in from the adjacent rock-bottomed gardens. 

A terrace sits quietly against the water, not quite indoors and not quite outdoors. 

A terrace sits quietly against the water, not quite indoors and not quite outdoors. 

Outside, a shallow pool divides the coastline from the adjoining terrace, bringing the expanse of ocean water closer to the home's living spaces. 

Outside, a shallow pool divides the coastline from the adjoining terrace, bringing the expanse of ocean water closer to the home's living spaces. 

The dining area opens to the pool which overlooks the expansive ocean. 

The dining area opens to the pool which overlooks the expansive ocean. 

The asymmetric single-hip roof captures a generous interior space, and an operable triangular window at its leeward tip creates gentle airflow. This supplements the deliberately designed cross-breezes that negate the need for air conditioning. 

The asymmetric single-hip roof captures a generous interior space, and an operable triangular window at its leeward tip creates gentle airflow. This supplements the deliberately designed cross-breezes that negate the need for air conditioning. 

Flat sections of the roof are topped with photovoltaic panels.

Flat sections of the roof are topped with photovoltaic panels.

Fishermen sometimes pull up to the Ipé docks offering the day’s catch.

Fishermen sometimes pull up to the Ipé docks offering the day’s catch.

A Rick Joy–Designed Retreat in the Caribbean Encourages an Easy-Breezy State of Mind - Photo 15 of 15 -

Project Credits: 
Architect of Record: Rick Joy Architects

Builder/General Contractor: Norstar Group

Structural Engineer: Harris Structural Engineering

Landscape Design: Barbara Underwood Landscaping

Lighting Design: CLL Concept  Lighting Lab LLC

Concrete: Reg Hough