Wed | Dec 1, 2021
DREAM HOUSE

Fascinating waterfront home made entirely of solid, cut stone

Published:Sunday | November 21, 2021 | 12:07 AMBarry Rattray - Contributor
Seductive interiors of pure stone.
Seductive interiors of pure stone.
The kitchen with quartz countertops.
The kitchen with quartz countertops.
Bedrooms embrace the outside.
Bedrooms embrace the outside.
A fascinating house located in unknown territory.
A fascinating house located in unknown territory.
A magnificent presentation completely out of hard-cut solid stone.
A magnificent presentation completely out of hard-cut solid stone.
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According to the American Medical Association, stress is the fundamental producer of more than 60 per cent of all humankind illnesses and diseases. There is a strong correlation between the unique design of this house, its one-of-a-kind surroundings and the medicinal properties derived thereafter for one’s health and well-being.

This is the home of its passionate designer, Dr Bart Muhs, MD-PhD, who lives in Connecticut, USA, and is an internationally regarded vascular surgeon (treats diseases of the blood vessels). He is a former clinical director of vascular surgery at the world-renowned Yale University School of Medicine. He’s on the island every four weeks, as it’s home away from home, as well as he’s a partner in a medical practice here. The money he generates in Jamaica is ploughed right back here to build and maintain his dream shelter.

Since the dawn of ancient civilisations, stone has been employed in building construction for its sturdiness and permanence. This fascinating waterfront house is erected entirely out of solid, cut stone by highly skilled local artisans.

Admire its high, very steep, pitched gable shingle roof, with dormer windows (vertical windows projecting from the sloping roof) on either side. Observe keenly its neatly sculptured, magnificent stone masonry work.

Your eyes follow the building excitedly as it rises through three levels, emphasising a wooden, floating balcony off upper floor bedrooms and a stone verandah on the ground floor.

Your eyes cannot escape the beautiful workmanship of the woodwork inside, what with beamed cedar ceilings, blue mahoe staircase, guango dining table, etc. In fact, most of the furniture is made from local woods by local craftsmen.

Floors on the lowest level appeal with timeless, polished, hand-cut solid stone, while the upper levels unveil wood tiles.

The rooms stare through glass windows and doors to 180-degree views of the awesome aquamarine cove, the stone walkway leading to the 150-foot stone pier and the landscape planted in 30 varieties of fruit trees, including a lot of sea grapes.

The previous owner of the property seven years ago (with an older house still on it) was a celebrated poet, painter, sculptor and multimedia artist, Gerd Stern. He would transition from living in a burnt-out car in New York at age 21, malnourished and in a critical condition, before committing himself into the New York state psychiatric institute – to manager and companion of celebrity poet Maya Angelou and a lecturer at Harvard University.

The construction crew over three years was ably headed by the doc’s 78-year-old father, who recently completed the project.

The address is Cousins Cove, Hanover – in completely unknown territory off the main road.

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