Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sands, Barbados

The Sands is a newly constructed luxury hotel, beautifully sited in a lushly planted beachfront compound on the Caribbean island of Barbados. An appealing contemporary fusion of Palladianism and traditional Caribbean-Colonial architectural styles, the hotel is constructed of cream-white coral stone, white-painted wood and cedar shingles, and seamlessly blends an imposing scale and Classical formality with inviting locally inspired details.

The rigorously symmetrical main building is defined by a Palladian temple front, its monumentality offset by large semi-detached pavilions to either side, picturesquely skewed from the main axis and reached by open, curving breezeways enriched with vernacular details—turned wood colonnettes and white-painted louvred panels. The interior planning features grand public spaces and spacious guest suites, each with its own private veranda, in harmony with the project's defining principles of monumentality leavened with intimacy and careful attention to detail.

Inspired by the yard-long, double gate fold illustration of the Château de Versailles appearing in our limited-edition book, Versailles, the Sands' representatives contacted us in November of this year to commission an elevational watercolor of the garden façade of the building to be reproduced as the centerpiece of a commemorative book they wished to publish for the holiday season. The scale of the Sands does indeed rival that of the original Enveloppe of Versailles, and the finished watercolor is over a yard in length, created in a challengingly tight time frame to meet the printer's early-December deadline. In fact the watercolor is so large and its details so fine that it could not be digitally photographed successfully and was instead scanned for reproduction.