Ani Villas, two modern luxury villas of 3,000-4,000 square feet each, reside on a 1 ½ acre plot that slopes up to a sheer, stone promontory, overlooking Little Bay to the west on Anguilla’s north coast. They include soaring indoor-outdoor living spaces with breathtaking views of the sea and the sky. Each villa has four bedrooms with a detached office/guest area, and site amenities include a tennis court, a viewing pavilion and a cliff-top pool and deck area. The white, modern structures – a series of stacked rectangular layers, forming subtly ascending levels and varying sized balconies and infilled with glass – are like a beacon atop the cliff and position themselves within the tradition of tropical modern architecture.
By day, their stark white open forms speak of look-outs and landmarks. By night, they evoke lighthouses, lanterns and the warm light of welcome. The villas are approached from the land, and there is no immediate hint of the precipitous position of the houses. In fact, they loom, land-bound and closed in appearance. Their materials derive from the traditions of the Caribbean, and they grow out of the ground: white stucco planes and volumes, aggregating like the rough terrain around them, emerging from rocky bases, and de-materializing into the sky with the lightness of weathered wood screens and trellises. A gently ascending pathway greets you, and the emergence of water and the gradual sense of enclosure accompany the transition from outside to inside.
The drama is ignited upon entering the houses, where the spectacle of the panorama comes as a complete surprise. The sea-side facades of the villas are glass, separated by floating floor and roof planes and framing a panoply of views as one circulates through the house. The journey is carefully choreographed to offer ever-changing perceptions of nature, as one ascends through interpenetrating spaces and takes further command of a 360 degree vista, culminating in roof terraces that reinforce the sense of being on top of the world. The interiors are infused with natural elements and colors: rough stone walls, hardwood weathered to evoke driftwood, water features, and organic furnishings (rounded wood side tables, tables and chairs that look as though they came straight from the tree). Most furniture pieces were custom made or personally picked out in Indonesia, accented with only a few bright colors.
The villas were strategically designed to be used jointly or separately, and in an unexpected twist, one of the multi-level ‘twins’ set on this challenging and vertical site is completely handicapped accessible. The overall design was informed by a pure response to the elements of the sea, the sky, and the dramatic location, with plentiful opportunities to unite its inhabitants with nature and light. There is a pronounced feeling of serenity and calmness--the vision was decidedly less is more. And photos of elements found in nature – palm leaves, banana leaves, water – displayed and shot in a contemporary way, further the modern, organic, island feel.