Culture > James McDonald

James McDonald

Featured Employee

As a Senior Designer at OBMI, James brings the utmost level of creativity and design excellence to deliver high-end custom homes and dynamic destinations across the world. His advanced skills in a range of technical programs and design, combined with his attention to detail, have allowed him to become invaluable to his discerning clients. Some of his most representative projects include a private game and hunting lodge in Africa and numerous luxury villas, and the Marina Village, at Oil Nut Bay.

We sat down with James to learn about his professional journey and hear his thoughts about what’s to come for the architecture industry.

When did you know you wanted to be an architect?
As a boy, I was always good in the arts, and by the age of 13, I learned how to draw perspective. That same year, I traveled to Germany where I toured the Reichstag by Norman Foster. At that moment I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and I never looked back.

What trends in architecture are you most excited about right now?
Recently an interesting architectural feature we have been incorporating into our residential designs are cantilever pools. Often times, the sites of our projects are perched on a cliffside overlooking the ocean, so to have a swimming pool cantilever over the edge of the house and site allows the expansive views to take center stage for a truly exceptional experience.

What has been the most satisfying project you’ve worked on?
My favorite project is not a building but a place. It’s called Oil Nut Bay. Set along the eastern peninsula of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. With only 88 home sites spread across 300 acres, this high caliber Caribbean community offers eight unique neighborhoods. Each is designed to complement your lifestyle, whether you prefer a short stroll to the marina or living footsteps from the white sand beach. I’ve been a part of the following projects at Oil Nut Bay including Ridge Villa Infinity, Compass Rose Villa, Villa I Maronti, The Spa, Copper Villa, Nature Center Spa, The Bay Suites, Marina Villas and the new Marina Village development.

Where has been your favorite travel destination?
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to South Africa while working for OBMI. This particular project is located far away from any major city or town, essentially in the middle of nowhere. The most memorable part of this particular destination is the colors of the landscape! Mother nature is absolutely beautiful in the part of the world. The sunrises and sunsets have every shade of color you can possibly imagine, from the deepest blues to the most vibrant oranges. Everything is alive there; the air is different there and it’s truly something special.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m an avid sailor with over 5000 miles of ocean sailing experience. I was taught the sport at a young age by my father and family friends, and since then sailing has been a huge part of my life. I’ve crewed on sailing yachts from Miami, the British Virgin Islands, New York, Maine, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, and have participated in several regattas. In 2020, I plan to participate in the ARC Atlantic Rally Crossing racing from Bermuda to the Azores where over 200 boats and 1200 sailors will be participating in the race.

Interested in learning more about James? Connect with him on LinkedIn.