24.3 VILLA AYAHSOWEDEH BY HMRW ARCHITECTS
Villa Ayahsowedeh is located in Portland on the north coast of Jamaica, near San San just east of Antonio. The villa sits on the waterfront overlooking a shallow bay and, just beyond, Monkey Island. Villa Ayahsowedeh is marketed as a boutique residence fully equipped and staffed with a chef, butler, housekeeper and boat captain.
The villa is a long and narrow [one room deep] two-storey house that sits on a 20 feet deep property on the waters edge. The three bedrooms are on the upper floor and all enjoy a stunning view over the blue water lagoon below. The living and dining rooms extend to a timber verandah projecting over the shallow lagoon some ten feet below. Tensile structures provide sail-like shades over the upper and lower terraced verandahs.
The main feature of the house is the curved staircase painted in various shades of pink to replicate the conch shell found in the lagoon. A curved barrel-vaulted concrete roof gives a soft dimension to the bedrooms. Roof lights are used to illuminate and ventilate the bathrooms instead of windows thus achieving a surprising level of noise reduction from roadside traffic. Glass sliding doors are used along the seaside façade while the roadside elevation is quite solid providing a high degree of privacy considering the close proximity of the main road. The house is well finished and enjoys a high standard of contemporary-designed furniture, fittings, equipment and artwork.
The villa has a number of photogenic elements and my attention was focused on these. The expansive glass doors to the living and dining spaces proved to be a challenge of excessive contrast during daylight hours. While it proved impossible to photography the front façade in its entirety due to weather and traffic conditions I managed to capture the seaside elevations using my Leica D-4 hand held while swimming in the lagoon.
The swimming, meals and drinks were excellent thanks to the helpful staff and we truly regretted having to leave the idyllic seaside setting.