THE HARBOR CLUB BUILDING IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE ARCHITECTURE WORKS currently under construction in Saint Lucia. Located in Rodney Bay next to the IGY Marina, Harbor Club hotel is a state of the art 115 room resort with a wide range of luxury amenities that will delight its future guests with several restaurants and a spa when it opens in 2018. For the business travelers, meeting rooms are designed to the highest standards, and are built to accommodate large conferences. The architect of record for this brand-new hotel which promises to reinvigorate Rodney Bay is Interisland Architects and Planners Ltd (IAPL). “The work of our Firm reflects the emergence of a distinctive Architectural Style born out of a response to our Tropical Marine climate and an awakening awareness of our region’s rich historical and cultural heritage in an era of post-Colonial Independence” said Mark Hennecart, the Director of Design with the company. Given the pluralistic cultural background of the Caribbean, it is inevitable that the firm’s architectural expressions appear to be eclectic. However, the challenge now is to develop a style which can be embraced by all of us here in the Caribbean as our own, since that would reflect to the world that we have become a cohesive, independent and unified Society. We must therefore distill from the wide variety of Cultural influences an Architecture, which has popular meaning. The fact that Saint Lucia is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean has driven IAPL to take somewhat of a “generalist” architecture approach, as he put it in his own words. “Unlike Puerto Rico, where there are architecture companies specialized in designing specifically schools or hotels for example; we have learned how to develop different sorts of projects because this is a smaller market,” the director of Interisland Architects and Planners. This company has maneuvered the islands influence on its business model into an advantageous offering. Having a very large portfolio of eye catching and high-quality developments in many different areas, has turned them into the most competitive firm in this field on the island. However, as tourism is the main driver of the Saint Lucian economy, hotels and resorts stand as some of the most regular customers for Mark, and these are clients that come back to request its services when they need to update their interior design. “We have just finished rebranding several hotels, and we are one of the most experienced firms in the island in this field,” he claimed. In addition to being the leading firm in its home country, Interisland Architects and Planners has also seized Saint Lucia’s central location amid Martinique, St. Kitts and Nevis; and Barbados to expand their operations and eventually have become one of the most competitive companies in this small region of islands. “We are in a location that makes us very competitive. We are the hub of the development that it is taking place in the nearby islands, so we are able to also expand,” said the architect. “We see ourselves at the vanguard of an evolving profession in an emerging economic structure of inter-dependent post-colonial island nations of the Eastern Caribbean. With the combined 75 years of experience in the practice of Architecture in Saint Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean of Mr Neville Skeete and the late Mr Claude Guillaume, we offer our enterprise as being ready, willing and able to contribute to the planning and development of our built environment – embracing contemporary methods and vision always with a deep respect for our history and our environment.” Explains Mark. When any sort of foreign direct investment lands in Saint Lucia, Mark Hennecart’s firm is one of the first spots where the investors tend to make a stop. They will likely need to construct or design the interior of the offices that will open on the island, thus regularly they get in touch with the most competitive and experience studio in the country. “An architect office like this is a barometer of the economy, and since 2007 onwards we have been very busy”, he puts it as a fact that evidences the steady growth that the island has experienced. The firm offers full architectural and interior design services from project formulation and inception, design, design development, construction documentation and construction contract administration through to final completion and post-construction support services. “Pursuing state of the art professional management and leadership techniques are key for clients growing needs.” Mark adds. Even though there has been a huge development in the country, Mark believes more can be done at the planning stage. Through years of experience, Mark has a special touch when it comes to timing, allowing developers to find themselves navigating things like hurricane season, and election schedules avoiding delays and managing costs. The team also provides the option of recycling buildings for incoming companies taking advantage of the incentives for head office domicile. As Mark has had his hand in projects across the island, any business looking to repurpose a structure has the comfort knowing the original builders can expedite their transition. “Some businesses don’t have the luxury of waiting for a new building, we can get involved by identifying a suitable building, in a good location that can satisfy their needs and get off the ground quicker,” said Mark. Interisland Architects and Planners Limited (IAPL) – (formerly NLBA(WI)Ltd. in association with Interisland Architects and Planners and NLBA Architects Ltd. Trinidad) has been providing a complete range of architectural services in the East Caribbean since 1946. “Interisland Architects and Planners has also seized Saint Lucia’s central location amid Martinique, St. Kitts and Nevis; and Barbados to expand their operations” Country St Lucia
Given the pluralistic cultural background of the Caribbean, it is inevitable that the firm’s architectural expressions appear to be eclectic.