Wed | Nov 20, 2019

Dream House | A breath of fresh air

Published:Sunday | October 27, 2019 | 12:07 AM
A villa in the middle of nowhere with a most unique shape.
Is this some remote, earthly paradise where happiness never dies?
The most important feature of the house is its natural views and beachfront.
Indoor living room – simple, and deliberately not fussy.
Sleep away under a domed ceiling in the master bedroom.
Outdoor living room with a rustic look by poolside.
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A breath of fresh air. That’s what this dream house represents, and yes, it’s going to leave many of us dumbfounded – stunned, if you will, with its unfamiliar and unconventional shape brought to the Jamaican landscape.

Aspects of its irregular architecture is characteristic of that seen on the famously beautiful islands of Greece and Italy, where austere, yet striking cubistic (boxy) forms in stark white (to keep interiors cool) reflects external and internal design at a minimal (minimalism, as it’s popularly known).

The villa in the middle of nowhere, far from the maddening crowd, is reached by a private road, and then by an extended driveway. The plot size is a bit over one acre, within a five-acre garden setting. The Mediterranean-influenced building rests on top of a bluff, buffeted by balmy breeze, with 5,000 square feet of living space.

It’s two-storied, open-plan (with mini dome roof) is inclusive of five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, living and dining rooms, kitchen, staff and laundry rooms, with garage.

Exterior living areas comprise large upstairs-downstairs private, thatch-roofed terraces, sun decks, balcony, thatch-roofed living rooms and a huge, enclosed Italian inspired courtyard. The infinity-edge swimming pool adds relief and merriment to all who thirst for a good time. Is this Shangri-La?

Finishes include interior walls painted in lily white, except for bedrooms in blue, yellow and red. The floors are of endless white tiles. Acclaimed world-renowned architect Richard Meier, who has projects around the world, considers white the most wonderful colour of all.

HANDCRAFTED FURNITURE

A lot of the furniture is locally hand-crafted from a very skilled area-based artisan, with king-sized four-poster beds built from bamboo, kitchen cabinets with basket-weave style made out of wood, and other furniture pieces from Indonesian teak.

The bewitching tropical garden lends its aura to the softening of this carefully sculptured, contoured, architectural monument, with its distinctive, curved walls. What an artistic sight to appreciate!

Romanian Constantin Brancusi, the most influential sculptor of the 20th century, once famously said: “Architecture is inhabited sculpture.”

With all that has been acknowledged about this unusual house (and there is plenty to be impressed with), the most important feature cannot escape our attention. It is the bedazzling, unobstructed views, including a beachfront! Unspoilt, unhurried, unaffected.

The house is isolated, by sea, with daily ever-changing water scenery showing dolphins at play. Don’t just enjoy the sea views as other homes do from a distance, but rather, jump right in!

Let’s greet the owner; and here is their story. Every house has a story.

His name is Nicola Giargia. Born in Italy, he has been a reinsurance broker in London, England, for 30 years. During this time, he has been travelling to Jamaica, having fallen in love with the island. He fell in love again and decided to bring his future wife, Jana, who hails from Slovakia, to get married in the very house they were building here. Unfortunately, the contractor’s inability to finish in time messed that up, and holy matrimony took place elsewhere in the area. Their daughter is six and she adores Pepper, their dog. She also goes to school here.

The family also maintains homes in England, Italy, and Slovakia (Slovak Republic). Eight months of the year is spent in Jamaica, with Nicola working from their house. Jana has even built and opened her own hotel near by.

If truth be told, the family extols the virtues of this villa’s views, decidedly over those of any house they have seen in Europe! This is their home – Jamaica, land they love.

Address: Billy’s Bay, Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth.

- Barry Rattray is a dream house designer and builder. Email: barry-rattray@hotmail.com or lifestyle@gleanerjm.com