Chersonese: A Celebration of Angles

Latin for ‘peninsula’, Chersonese sits perched on the edge of a natural headland along the North Sound of Grand Cayman. A modern and inviting home, it was aptly named for its exceptional position along a shallow seaway surrounded by red mangroves.

Artfully co-designed by architect Robert Towell and the owners, Chersonese presented a unique set of challenges that pushed the boundaries of creativity and functionality when designing the near-11,000 square foot home. Some two years later, the team’s master work, lead by contractor LG Construction, boasts picturesque ocean views of both Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound from each of the five dedicated bedrooms, separate studies and most of the living spaces within the home.

Initially, the house was designed as a two-story structure but the expansive roof overhang prevented the use of trusses. This hindrance ultimately led to vaulted ceilings, bright and airy spaces and the additional third floor where the home gym and a personal study overlook Cayman’s famed Rum Point, and the couple’s young son spends afternoons in his own playroom hidden behind a seamless trap door. The third floor, the family says, gave them some of their best sea-to-sea views.

Avid travellers, many design features were inspired by places the couple visited over the years, like the small courtyard facing the oversized pivot door at the front of the home, which resembles those found in Mexican casas where the couple also own a home. Just beyond is a formal sitting room with vibrant accent chairs and a contemporary 10-seater dining table perfect for entertaining. Nooks and crannies, meanwhile, are lined with bookshelves, eccentric artefacts and colourful artwork the couple has collected over their travels for an entirely personal collection that adds to home’s inviting atmosphere.

Great consideration was taken in choosing complementary materials to ensure the home felt warm and welcoming. Stained doors, natural wood finishes on interior window frames, Jerusalem stone floors in the main living areas and hallways, opal stone and marble in all seven baths and dark wood floors in the bedrooms balance the sleek lines and geometric split levels.

Over the double car garage, a separate guest apartment offers comfortable lodging for visiting guests, complete with its own kitchen, living space and laundry facilities. With a view of the sprawling front garden and the infinity lap pool designed by Pool Patrol, the couple included a centre planter with palms as reminder of the hotel in Cartagena where they honeymooned. The helix exterior metal staircase by Metalworx is one of the owners’ favourite features of the guest apartment and was developed from a design detail they first saw at a hotel in Bali. The beautifully designed and functional kitchen, however, is the very heart of the home with an adjacent informal dining area and family room overlooking the rear bamboo garden and open sea.

With all of its innovative design features and trendy furnishings, the owners were keen to source as much of their interior fixtures, fittings and finishes locally. The state-of-the-art appliances were acquired from local suppliers A.L. Thompson’s and Bon Vivant, automated lighting controls were expertly installed by Audiophile and The Security Centre ensures the home is kept safe at all times.

The irregular, almost kidney-like shape of land upon which Chersonese sits enabled the house to be set further back from the road, with a vantage point that is unobstructed by neighbouring properties along the creek. This specific design consideration, combined with the direct east and west orientation of the home, awards the family the unique pleasure of witnessing both the sunrise and sunset from their idyllic waterfront home.

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Published: REAL LIFE Magazine, Spring 2016

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