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Water Cay

Project type: Hotel


Location: Turks and Caicos Islands


Time: 2005-2006


Status: Completed


Client: Starwood Capital


In Collaboration with Brad Pitt

GRAFT was asked to develop a design and storyboard for a high-end luxury resort on a Caribbean island in Turks and Caicos.


The hotel concept envisages three sets of room types and experiences, located near to a central point at the north-west tip of the island, next to Half Moon Bay. All three experiences are reachable from this public centre and, like pearls on a string, form three lines that echo characteristic features of the island. Each has a strong and distinctive atmosphere derived from their setting: on water, in the trees, at the cliff edge. The design for each room and structure responds to its specific location and condition, enhancing its quality and providing a unique experience.


Water Pavilions

Water pavilions float in the bay like seabirds ready for take-off and offer panoramic views of the sunrise and sunset. The units have two rooms, accessed via a shared entrance and walkway, that can be rented independently or together. At high tide, the water leaves only islands of wooden deck ‘floating’ in front of the units. At low-tide, a connecting walkway is exposed, that leads to so-called ‘tidal pools’ that retain water from the sea as it departs. These suites offer an amphibious and direct experience of the tidal phenomenon.


Tree Houses

Located on a high inland ridge, the tree houses are placed at specific high points, nestled in and above the foliage, 4-5 metres above ground. These arboreal units offer views of the northern and southern shores, the inner bay and the western seaboard. Arranged in clusters of three, they appear to hover in the trees like blossoms opening to the sun. Two to three clusters of tree houses share a common pool and barbeque area at elevated platforms from which gently ramping walkways lead up to the individual units. By exploiting the topography, steep inclines and steps should be minimized.


Cliff Villas

Cliff villas on the beautiful north-western cliff expose vistas toward stunning beaches and crystal Caribbean waters. The villa compound consists of three volumes that are separate but geometrically related, as if cut out of a single prismatic block. Formed from limestone, corals, alabaster, driftwood and linen sails they create a small village situation. The pool and outside areas are integrated into the topography, taking advantage of the natural setting and different heights. Fully-equipped cabanas are carved like caves into the cliff with private decks cascading down to the beach, making inhabitable the threshold between land and water.