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BIG design centerpiece for a new resort in the Bahamas

21 April, 2014

BIG design centerpiece for a new resort in the Bahamas

BIG + HKS + MDA have unveiled the design for the new Honeycomb building and its adjacent public plaza in The Bahamas - a 175,000 ft² (ca. 16,000 m²) residential building with a private pool on each balcony overlooking the marina.

Greek version

Albany is a modern paradise-like beach and golf resort community, located on the south coast of New Providence Island. The Honeycomb will be the tallest structure in Albany, making it a landmark in the resort, and a beacon from the ocean.

 

 

The façade has a hexagonal pattern that uniquely frames the natural beauty of the Island. The balconies are deep enough to not only provide outdoor spaces, but also summer kitchens and a pool sunken into the balcony of each unit. These pools have a transparent edge towards the plaza, eliminating the visual barrier between the pool and the environment. Bathers can be fully immersed in the view of the marina and the ocean beyond.

Bjarke Ingels:  "Our design is driven by an effort to maximize the enjoyment of the abundant natural qualities of Albany in The Bahamas: the landscape, the sea and the sun. A honeycomb façade functionally supports the pools making them sink into the terrace floor and provides spectacular sight lines while maintaining privacy for each residence. Drawing inspiration from its coastal setting, the hexagonal design evokes the natural geometries you find in certain coral formations or honeycombs".


 

On the ground level, the façade pattern melts into the pavement of the plaza, creating a subtle topography on the square. Along the edge, various hexagons transform into green mounds with plants, palm trees, and integrated seating. The center of the square is formed by a shallow pond, which is fed by fountains scattered around the plaza, and a network of small creeks between the hexagonal pavers.

The residences in the building offer a variety of floor plans that will suit the diverse lifestyles of its tenants. The residential lobby and high-end retail will activate the public plaza. A golf cart parking and storage units are oriented towards the parking lot on the north, in close proximity to Albany's championship golf course.

The Honeycomb will be the centerpiece of Albany's masterplan for a live, work, play environment unlike any other in The Bahamas.

 


(Left) The site is the centerpiece of the Marina Residences master plan. It is directly connected to the plaza -one of the major public spaces- and will therefore be closely associated with urban life in Albany. (Right) The brief asks for a number of different apartment sizes, vertically stacked ascending in floor area. The sizes range from 2 bedroom units to penthouses.


(Left) The balconies are added as an offset to the south side, providing views and shade. The staggering partition walls create a brick pattern, which adds dynamic to the elevation. (Right) Each unit gets its private pool, which is integrated into the balcony slab. To accommodate the volume of the pool, the balcony slab folds down at the deepest point of the pool. This always coincides with the partition wall below, which serves as a beam to support the additional weight of the water. The repetition of this move creates a honeycomb pattern in elevation.


(Left) To emphasize the close relationship with the plaza, the hexagonal facade pattern turns horizontal and becomes the pavement of the square. The width is identical with the dimension of the building, leaving a generous sidewalk on all sides. All hexagons have a slight pitch from the center down to the edge to add a subtle topography and allow for drainage. (Right) When not in use for large scale events, we propose to activate the plaza with a water feature. All hexagons have a slight pitch and create a subtle topography without compromising the usability as a square. Some of them have a fountain integrated in the peak, which pumps out water like a mountain spring. The water collects as tiny creeks in the valleys between the hexagons and drains towards a shallow pond in the center of the plaza.


 

Project data
Architect: BIG
Collaborators:  HKS architects (local architect), Michael Diggiss Architects (executive architect)
Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Sören Grünert
Team: Benzi Rodman, David Spittler, Jenny Shen, Karen Shiue, Lujac Desautel, Romea Muryn, Brian Foster
Client: Tavistock Group / New Valley LLC

Editor: Maria-Eleni Vogiatzi

 

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