Architecture

Taking its architectural inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright. The project was executed brilliantly by Jack Diamond and his team at Diamond & Schimitt.

The clean lines of the house.

But Taliesin existed as a place long before its site was located and the house built. It existed in the mind as a place for family and friends to come together and strengthen bonds all too easily loosened by the structure of modern life. A place to renew the soul and provide tonic for the spirit. A personal Avalon.

 
Taleisin, a page from the book  

Not of mother, nor of father was my creation.

I was made from the ninefold elements:

From fruit-trees, from paradisal fruit;

From primroses and hillflowers,

From Blossom of the trees and bushes;

From the roots of the earth I was made;

From the bloom of the nettle,

From water of the ninth wave.

Math enchanted me before I was made immortal;

Gwydion created me by his magic wand;

From Emrys and Euryon, from Mabon and Modron,

From five fifties of magicians and masters like Math was I made.

I was made by the master in his highest ecstasy;

By the wisest of druids I was made before the world began.

(Taliesin)

 

After years of searching the decision to buy the site on Mustique took just a few seconds and the site itself took only another few seconds to demand what it wanted as inspiration for the architecture; Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

 
"Fallingwater" - house over the waterfall - Photo by Figuura, courtesy of www.wright-house.com
"Fallingwater" - house over the waterfall - Photo by Figuura, courtesy of www.wright-house.com
 


Twelve months of intensive concept design and design development ensued, driven by simple architectural philosophies;

  • The why - why will the house exist?

  • The what - what was needed to achieve the why? What were the requirements of the internal spaces, etc?

  • Organic – that the design should augment the landscape not fight it. It should sit comfortably, without prominence, but not submissive to the environment and topography.

  • Materials – simple, elemental, natural.

  • The eventual concepts underwent a further six months of practical development through the use of computer generated images and scale models.

  • Position – tested, refined and tested again and again to achieve the optimum balance of distance from the sea, variety of views and functionality.

  • Wind – House builds succeed based upon the consideration  and respect given to the wind  in the Caribbean.  All areas benefit from a gentle cooling breeze whilst others were designed to be more dramatic, dependent upon the mood of the user and the weather.

  • Sun - Sun mapping, or more accurately, shade mapping, enhances enjoyment and creates a variety of micro environments to suit every mood.  To go even further and use the shade to enhance the aesthetic of the structure.

 
Shade mapping
Shade mapping
 
During this period the materials were also settled on.
 
Wooden deail close up  

Wood :

  • Teak for all doors, windows and louvers

  • Greenheart or ipe for wooden decks and pergolas

  • Cypress for ceilings.

   

 

Slate from North Wales  

Floors:

  • Slate from North Wales is used for all internal floors.  Over five hundred million years old, Welsh slate was once exported around the world as a roofing material.  Used as flooring it is elegant, soft and cool underfoot.

  • Travertine from Italy is used for all external terraces.  Elegant, slip resistant and soft on the eye it is ideal for the Caribbean sun.

   

 

Architectural shot of reinforced concrete.  

Structure:

  • Reinforced concrete batched on Mustique itself provides great mass and strength.  (The house is built to Miami hurricane standards) With the flexibility to create magnificent ten foot cantilevers (very Frank Lloyd Wright) that are such a feature of Taliesin.

 

Only then did the building work commence, undertaken with great pride and passion by James Archibald and his team of local and specialist builders.  Great credit is also due to the Project Managers, Tim Ashton, Ian Foot, David Cole and John Barber for their tireless dedication to the project.

It took four years to complete.

Interior

The brief for the interior design called for elegance, timelessness and most of all comfort. Melanie Boissevain, a renowned interior designer of both houses and yachts, has produced interior spaces that not only perfectly compliment the architecture and the environment, but are sublimely comfortable

The name – Taliesin

A number of Frank Lloyd Wright’s family homes and eventually his studio were named Taliesin.  But inspiration for the name came from the man Taliesin “the primary chief bard for the island of Britain,” a figure who lived in Wales in the latter part of the 6th century.  Famous as the greatest ever Celtic shaman and author of the original Arthurian legends. Taliesin is also a Welsh word which translates as “shining brow”.

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