Mon | Dec 6, 2021

The house inside a pool

Published:Sunday | July 28, 2019 | 12:08 AM
Open-air atrium with circular planter venting the middle of the house.
Can you believe that parts of this house are constructed inside the swimming pool?
Indoor-outdoor living room opens to an expansive sea scenery.
Home theatre with automated reclining seats.
Sports bar

Can you believe that parts of this house are constructed inside the very swimming pool! We are left speechless, because our eyes have never beheld anything like this before.

But the architecture has not gone crazy. In fact, we welcome design that is not staid, conformist, and downright boring. What we are witnessing here are outdoor leisure areas of the house, boldly and triumphantly rising from their liquid pleasure base, dripping with excitement.

For centuries, there was the belief and today empirical research has shown the link between creativity and insanity. It’s a thin line, but creative imagination displayed here for all to see – allows the possibilities, not the limitations.

This is Dragonfly, built in 2017 with a hilltop dominance, commanding a panorama from Lucea to Montego Bay. It is, and I choose my words carefully, an electrifying architectural masterpiece. No house in Jamaica jolts you quite like this one.

Its proportions are mega-sized (20,000 square feet), and its ultra-luxurious features, furnishings, and finishings are beyond expectations. There are seven bedroom suites, all arranged on two levels open to an expansive sea scenery, with their individual private terraces and glass-railed balconies. The master suite invites one in with its own entrance foyer, with outside dining terrace and whirlpool tub. Its air-conditioned bathroom provides a walk-in double shower with individual controls for him and her – no glass, no curtains to obstruct movement. There is also a whirlpool bath, and lo and behold, a furnished sitting area. Wow! An outside private sitting area (part of the bathroom) adds to the experience. The walk-in closets are also air-conditioned. I repeat, air-conditioned!

Other rooms include an indoor-outdoor living room opening completely to glass-railed balconies. There is also a dining room, upstairs sports bar and open-air atrium with circular planter venting the middle of the house with fresh air and sunlight. Then there is the games room, gym, home theatre (with automated reclining seats), and double-relaxation gazebos (one above the other), serving both floors, right inside the enormous heated 110-foot swimming pool – accessed by bridges. In addition, a nook for kids, with electronic equipment and two separate powder rooms. The granite kitchen with wood cabinetry has the latest technologically advanced appliances. Helpers’ quarters, all of three bedrooms, come fully self-contained. Wide verandahs, carport, and laundry add to the layout. Separate staircases and long, wide, elegant corridors facilitate movement.

Outside on the pool deck, another larger heated whirlpool tub soaks your troubles into oblivion. Another gazebo inside the pool houses a swim-up bar.

At the front, a circular (interlocking brick) roadway drives up to a double porte cochere.


Asian and Jamaican influences abound throughout the interior decor. Paintings of interest speak to us from walls. Marble floors and very tall doors dwarf us, with interior spaces flowing openly. The ultimate in home sound systems fills the inside with music and movies. In fact, it’s a ‘smart’ home, extensively automated.

Yet, for all its opulence and rich embellishments, there is a simplicity in its overall design that gives the residence that interplay of relaxation and informality.

Constructed at the Tryall Club for a business executive (he has run many information and technology companies) and his wife, the villa derives its name from the proliferation of dragonflies in the area when they first purchased the property. His wife is from Wales, and the dragonfly can be seen on that nation’s flag.

Building materials were sourced from the United States and locally, for example, the doors were locally built. Perhaps the majority of supplies came from America.

After a visit here, one may not be able to distinguish if what you experienced was fantasy or reality. Don’t worry, you are not suffering from hallucinations. Your sanity is intact. Dragonfly is really all that … and more.

Barry Rattray is a dream designer and builder. Email: /