Exuma Sound Cottages
This privately owned island contains one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems. It covers 500 acres of land with a 90 foot peak above sea level, the highest in the area. It has a two mile stretch of sandy beaches and is a home to a Spanish shipwreck dating back to the sixteenth century. Across its eastern coastline, one can spot a rare form of rock: stromatolites dating back to Precambrian times. Through their sedimentary grains, they provide some of the most ancient records of life on Earth.
Its prominent location in the Exuma Straits attracts luxury yachts and various sizes of fishing vessels seeking crawfish and stone crabs, snorkeling or the mere enjoyment of solitude. To such demands, the owners envisaged a program to install a clubhouse, a restaurant, a salt water swimming pool and tennis courts. The existing marina was enhanced with a bar serving wine and salads, and a convenient island store for day trippers. Six rental cottages with various room sizes were also installed and can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis. Additionally, few private cottages were strewn around the island.
Koder devised to nestle the structures within the nine foot high native thicket. The most crucial thing to do was to “site” those cottages in order to take advantage of the unusually high terrain, to maximize the views and to provide easy access without compromising or disturbing much of the natural landscape. He was set to preserve the island’s pristine beauty.
The rental cottages were divided into three groups with two, three and four bedroom configurations. Each cottage was built within a rectangular space “carved” from the natural landscape. The cottages were raised just enough to see over the green wall. The resulting basements provided ample space for mechanical systems, a novel approach to building cottages in this part of the world. Cottage structures were braced for hurricane winds with tolerance for more than 120 mph winds. Glazing was protected with the typical Bahamian shutters thus reducing the amount of solar gain within each cottage. The interiors were designed to evoke a naval atmosphere commensurate with “British-occupied” themes.