Area: 3,700 sqm
Type: Mixed use
Simpson Bay’s Kim Sha Beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. To the south, a popular local beach bar with adjoining surface parking occupies a lot in a dense field of high-rise buildings. In 2007, AAP was commissioned to design a mixed-use structure with a residential as well as a commercial component for this 2,418 square meter site.
Parking analysis confirms a severe capacity problem in the immediate vicinity of the building site. Theproposed design therefore provides two full levels of parking. Forty-nine commercial parking spaces are located underground. A residential parking deck on the second floor adds another forty-five spaces, while functioning as a buffer between the commercial program on the ground floor and the residences above. Utilizing the gradient of Billy Folly Road, two independent entrance ramps grant access to the parking decks.
The ground floor plinth includes four commercial tenant spaces and a central plaza where visitors may enjoy an espresso or an ice cream. To allow for increased daylight and natural ventilation, the floor slab above the plaza is cut back. A seaside promenade connects the adjacent properties to Kim Sha Beach, ensuring a steady flow of potential customers.
Sint Maarten’s precious coastline is frequently developed with little consideration for existing views from the hinterland, often resulting in unattractive blind urban walls. To determine the impact of the proposed building mass, existing sightlines are analyzed using 3D modeling. The existing visual connection between Simpson Bay and Billy Folly Road (along with the buildings south of the project site), is preserved by splitting the residential program into two physically separate building masses supported by concrete columns. On the west, a slender ten-floor tower rises above the open residential parking deck. A four-story horizontal volume on the east provides an appropriate transition to existing building blocks.
The tower contains twelve interlocking two-bedroom apartments, with views of either Simpson Bay orSimpson Bay Lagoon and Anguilla. A generous penthouse covers the tower’s top floor. The smaller rectangular volume accommodates a hybrid program of six residential units and a commercial day spa on the middle level. Both residents and patrons may take a dip in a spacious pool with cantilevered edge, overlooking Kim Sha Beach and the bay.