Norman’s Cay Resort

Building with the land, not on the land, creates a luxury island resort in the Caribbean defined by the site’s materials and contours.

Sitting within the Bahamian Exuma chain is Norman’s Cay, an island with white sand beaches, rocky coral cliffs, turquoise water, and abundant flora and fauna. We were invited to design an Aman resort for the island—a world-class destination that seeks to enhance the ecosystem, while preserving and accentuating the island’s natural beauty.

Our design proposes a series of discrete forms hidden within the island’s topography—quite literally built with the earth to celebrate the earth. Structures reveal themselves only at strategic vantage points and utilize locally sourced materials to cloak the façade with the colors and textures of the site. Coral and limestone rock—with their beautiful textures and fossils—are used to camouflage the resort. Sweeping landscape stairs and pools are carved into the site, with leftover limestone dust and fragments mixed into cement or used as cladding.

One of our focus areas is site geomancy—“feeling” where the project naturally sits within a site, not only from the outside looking in, but also from the inside looking out. Sunrise and sunset impact the building placement, as do spatial experiences afforded by the natural contours. For example, a coral outcrop provides an idyllic setting for a reflecting pool and oculus from which to watch the sun go down. Private villas are embedded into coral outcrops, their infinity pools merging with the lagoon.

Norman's Cay, Bahamas
430,000 SF
Masterplanning, Architecture, Interior Design
Project Team
Chad Oppenheim, Kevin Heidorn, Jose Ortez, Juan Lopez, Alexis Cogul, Olivier Monfort, Miranda Romer
Image Credit

Norman’s Cay Resort