Beach Shells

Year: 2012
Area: 280 sqm
Type: Residential
Status: Study

Obstructed views are a primary disadvantage of row housing developments. By spacing out individual dwelling units, the blind urban wall becomes more transparent. The Beach Shells master plan utilizes this design concept in combination with intermediate raised platforms to accommodate the main entrance. Topped with roof gardens, these elevated decks visually blend into the park landscape while providing increased privacy. Two parking spaces and the lower level point of entry, are situatedunderneath. From the parking area, a straight flight of stairs provides access to the platform above.

The adaptable interior layouts are the result of a market study. A two-bedroom unit located on the second and third floors, leaves space for an additional one-bedroom unit below. Alternatively, the main interior staircase may be extended to connect both units, forming a more spacious townhome with three bedrooms, or with a lower level guest suite. The vertical organization of the building program with optional dual-level access creates both privacy and flexibility.

Oriented towards the Caribbean Sea and Sint Maarten, a full-glass facade offers spectacular views throughout the units. As the program is shifted towards the front of the townhome, a tapered buildingsection emerges. The structure is capped with a single parabolic shell, resulting in a unique, marketable design. The top edge of the shell projects beyond the glass facade to prevent direct sunlight from entering the units, hereby reducing solar heat gain as well as the building’s carbon footprint.

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