Martina Christian — Fuelled by a Passion For Art & Design

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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Nested in the hills of Millsborough, this residential house is approximately 12,000 sq ft with over 2,000 sq ft dedicated for covered outdoor living. The main spacial requirements by the clients called for four en-suite bedrooms, a junior master suite, a master suite, two en-suite helper's quarters, and an entertainment pavilion. Having worked with the clients before and having had several design consultations to find out their needs, wants and lifestyle, I was given free rein to design what is deemed as a designer's “dream project”.

I spearheaded this project from conception throughout construction and was responsible for all design decisions both architectural and interior design, working closely with the client, contractors and sub-contractors throughout the two-year design and construction period. Each design element from paint colours, tiles, light and ceiling fixtures, along with the furniture — some of which were reused and refinished — were hand-picked and strategically placed to complement the design and function of the house.

Based on the needs and lifestyle of the clients, the main design concept was a home that worked for the clients, personally and socially. Taking advantage of the natural landscape of the surrounding mountains I wanted to design a home that wasn't just a place for living but a home that was a “navigational experience” for the residents and guests alike. The house can be classified as an eclectic mix of “contemporary vernacular and polite architecture”, taking advantage of the natural and surrounding environmental conditions and vistas, while introducing stylistic design elements intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes. One of the main functions of the home was for entertaining, for which my main design objective was playing with volumes, openness and intimacy where needed. This was achieved by designing the house with a central access, running from the entry gate to the entertainment pavilion located at the back of the property.

The property boasts a large, tempered glass gate with a vast driveway and lush landscape. The entry portico greets guests with a symmetrical water feature surrounded by a vast orchid garden. The front door opens up to a foyer of 30ft-vaulted ceiling with exposed beams, and operable weather-sense skylights. A raised-deck central courtyard separates the entry from the family room. The courtyard features large ceramic water pots, adjacent to the glass and hardwood staircase and mirrored elevator doors that lead to the private quarters of the home that includes main sitting areas, as formal living room off the foyer, the main family room which opens up completely via folding doors to the ground floor patio, and upstairs sitting room which leads to the first-floor outdoor terrace. The open kitchen houses a 7ft by 14ft granite island, a breakfast nook that also opens up to the back patio, operable skylights and is decked with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances.

Designed for easy flow from inside to outside and outside to inside, outdoor living and entertainment played a key role in the design of the home. The back patio leads to an open entertainment backyard that hosts an eclectic mix of hardscape and greenscape materials bursting in colours and visual interests. The backyard houses a pool with a spa and water feature, a fire pit, an entertainment pavilion with a bar and a separate outdoor kitchen for hosting chefs and caterers.


Martina Christian: Senior Architectural & Interior Designer, LEED GA

Employer: Rivi Gardner & Ass. Architects & Planners

Educational Background:

• Dipl. in Secondary Art Education from The Mico University

• BA in Architectural Studies and M Arch (Masters in Architecture) from The Caribbean School of Architecture,(CSA) UTech.




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