On the Island of Anguilla – An Architect’s Treasured Creations

July 20th, 2015

 

Four solitary villas stand like sentries on a pristine stretch of Anguillan beach. Their positioning and architecture was engineered to ventilate them by capturing the constant easterly flow of the trade winds. A trademark principle of their renown designer, Myron Goldfinger, whose attention to nature's forces has made him a leading practitioner in the world of energy efficient design. My assistant and I lifted the outboard engines off these fishermen's boats. I wanted the scene to appear are "pure" as I could.  I styled the oars, ropes and anchors to help that effect. Notice the position  of the oars which move the eye from foreground to mid-gound to the background villas (which themselves are the stars of the shot).  And - yes, we did put the outboards back and hopefully the fishermen would not notice anything when they returned the next morning to retrieve their catches!

Four solitary villas stand like sentries on a pristine stretch of Anguillan beach. Their positioning and architecture was engineered to ventilate by capturing the constant easterly flow of the trade winds. A trademark principle of their renown designer, Myron Goldfinger. His attention to nature’s forces has made him a leading practitioner in the world of energy efficient design. For this shot, my assistant and I lifted the outboard engines off the boats conveniently left on the beach by local fishermen. I wanted the scene to appear as “pure” as I could. So I positioned the oars, ropes and anchors to help in that effect. I believed that the placement of the oars helped direct the viewer’s eye from foreground to mid-gound to  background, to the villas (which were the stars of the shot). And – yes, we did put the outboards back so the fishermen would not notice anything amiss when they returned the next morning.

 

 

The cover of Architectural Digest - my first of many. The Hammock. An elegantly simple scene taking advantage of visual layering . Structure - to foliage - to beach - to water - to islands - to sky. A one-point perspective.  A favored point-of-view, preferred by architects.

The cover of Architectural Digest – my first of many. The Hammock. An elegantly simple scene taking advantage of visual layering. Architectural structure framing the foreground, leading the eye through beach, sea and sky to the distant island in the background. This is a one-point perspective: a favored point-of-view preferred by architects. Interestingly, when we returned to shoot a few years later, the line of foliage on the beach had grown in height. I could no longer get this composition to work – the taller foliage now obscured the view from this low camera angle. But that growth had been foreseen and planned by the architect. The villa was now visually shielded from passers-by. A resident could parade around in any (or no) attire and feel entirely at ease!

 

 

Like a lone sentry, it structure stands watch, capturing the constant trade winds. The island of St. Marten occupies the horizon five miles away.

Like a lone sentry, the structure stands watch – its louvered upper scoops gathering the constant trade winds and passing them down through the building to exit below toward the water. Nature’s cooling effect. The island of Dutch/French St. Marten lies on the horizon five miles away.

 

 

Covecastles Pre Dusk ©Dan Forer

Sand everywhere underfoot. No concrete paths. No stone pavers. The structure sits firmly on the sand berm surrounded by it and with recently planted young palms promising to grow in the coming years. The adjustable wooden louvers on the windward side of the building control the ever-present trade-winds which will ventilate the interiors without dependence on electricity for cooling.

 

 

Covecastles Dusk ©Dan Forer

How lovely to wait with camera set until the sun is down and the sky assumed that deep purple glow. We had placed lights in the louvered upper openings and used accent lights outside which were aimed to reveal the curves in the structure. Public electricity on the island was unpredictable at that time. We were advised to be ready with a generator just in case. And so it was that this setup was made possible – we did use a generator which cranked noisily behind the shrubbery.

 

Covecastles 35mm

On our second trip, a new cluster of attached residences has been built and can be seen from the balcony of one of the original villas.

 

 

"Pass me the water bottle , please". My photo-assistant and my wife, Loretta, pose as visitors to Covecastles. I've been engaged to photograph the project for the owner/architect Myron Goldfinger. Its' for a brochure which will introduce it to the vacationing public. Still, there are no paved roads, no concrete paths or stone pavers anywhere in the project. The structures sit on sand and are surrounded by it. And the project, after some years,  is beginning to mature. The foliage and trees have grown and now show signs of what they'll be like in the near future.

“Pass me the water bottle, please”.  My photo-assistant and my wife pose as visitors to “Covecastles”. I’ve been engaged to photograph for the owner/architect Myron Goldfinger. It’s for a brochure which will introduce the project to the vacationing public. Still, there are no paved roads, no concrete paths or stone pavers anywhere. The structures sit on sand and are surrounded by it. And the project is beginning to mature. The foliage and trees have grown and now show signs of what they’ll be in the future.

 

 

Covecastles Sunset Beach Couple ©Dan Forer

Sunset at “Covecastles” with my volunteers on the beach, once again posing as a vacationers.

 

 

 

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