Reefs Residence at Ballast Bay

British Virgin Islands

Modern Sustainable Caribbean Living

This contemporary home sits comfortably amidst the treetops overlooking the surf break at Cane Garden Bay. The innovative use of materials combined with strict attention to detail has resulted in a very clean modern interpretation of the traditional Caribbean hillside home. A focus on sustainability through the planning process was layered over the imaginative design solutions resulting in the creation of a high-quality living environment with minimal impact on the global environment.

Endeavored from the outset to preserve as much of the natural vegetation on the site as possible. They cleared the building zone themselves, working the location of the house and the access to the site in between the existing trees. Preserving the natural vegetation was important throughout the design process, and added value in terms of limiting soil erosion and harmful runoff, and reducing future landscaping costs. The footprint of the house was kept simple to reduce site disturbance with the house stepping up three stories to accommodate the three bedrooms. Access is from the rear, slightly above mid-level, with the house nestled in amongst the trees, keeping the visual impact of the three levels to a minimum.

The villa blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior living with the living area opening up on two sides with pocketed sliding glass screens. With some structural gymnastics, the corner column was eliminated leaving the open corner appearing to defy gravity, bringing the swimming pool and water wall into the living space and completely opening up the living areas to the views.  The living space is sleek and chic with travertine tiles flowing through to an open kitchen. A freestanding wood staircase to the upper bedrooms is a folded plate of butcher block dramatically cantilevered out from the living room wall. Stainless steel cables run through two levels of the house, passing through the edge of the staircase, offering a safe but creative alternative to the traditional stair balustrade. The effect offers an open sculptural solution for the vertical transition through the house.

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Project Sheet

Centre of Excellence

Island Living




2,200 sq ft


3 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms
Pool with swim jets
Underwater & Crestron sound system


Interior Design


T. Peck