BIG designs honeycomb housing
block for the Bahamas


News: architecture firm BIG has unveiled a proposal for an apartment block in the Bahamas featuring a honeycomb facade where every balcony contains a swimming pool (+ slideshow).

Honeycomb building by BIG

BIG, the firm led by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, is designing the eight-storey residential building for a site on the south coast of New Providence Island, where it is set to become the tallest structure in the Albany community.

Honeycomb building by BIG

The honeycomb facade will form the south face of the building. The hexagons will frame balconies belonging to each of the apartments, which will contain sunken pools facing directly onto the marina through clear glass balustrades.

Honeycomb building by BIG

"Our design is driven by an effort to maximise the enjoyment of the abundant natural qualities of Albany in The Bahamas: the landscape, the sea and the sun," said Bjarke Ingels.

Honeycomb building by BIG

"A honeycomb facade functionally supports the pools making them sink into the terrace floor and provides spectacular sight lines while maintaining privacy for each residence," he added.

Honeycomb building by BIG

Named Albany Marina Residences, but also known as the Honeycomb, the building will be completed as a collaboration between BIG and smaller firms HKS Architects and Michael Diggiss Architects. It will join three other new buildings proposed in the area.

Honeycomb building by BIG

The hexagonal pattern will continue down onto the paving of an adjacent plaza, and will also provide a framework for soft landscaping, seating areas and an outdoor pool.

Honeycomb building by BIG

"Drawing inspiration from its coastal setting, the hexagonal design evokes the natural geometries you find in certain coral formations or honeycombs," said Ingels.

Honeycomb building by BIG

Shops will be contained on the ground floor, alongside a lobby leading to the entrances of each apartment.

Honeycomb building by BIG

Here's a project description from BIG:

BIG designs centrepiece for a new resort in the Bahamas

BIG + HKS + MDA have unveiled the design for the new Honeycomb building and its adjacent public plaza in The Bahamas – a 175,000 ft² (ca. 16,000 m²) residential building with a private pool on each balcony overlooking the marina.

Honeycomb building by BIG
Site concept - click for larger image and key

Albany is a modern paradise-like beach and golf resort community, located on the south coast of New Providence Island. The Honeycomb will be the tallest structure in Albany, making it a landmark in the resort, and a beacon from the ocean.

Honeycomb building by BIG
Unit mix concept - click for larger image and key

The facade has a hexagonal pattern that uniquely frames the natural beauty of the Island. The balconies are deep enough to not only provide outdoor spaces, but also summer kitchens and a pool sunken into the balcony of each unit. These pools have a transparent edge towards the plaza, eliminating the visual barrier between the pool and the environment. Bathers can be fully immersed in the view of the marina and the ocean beyond.

Honeycomb building by BIG
Balcony concept - click for larger image and key

On the ground level, the facade pattern melts into the pavement of the plaza, creating a subtle topography on the square. Along the edge, various hexagons transform into green mounds with plants, palm trees, and integrated seating. The centre of the square is formed by a shallow pond, which is fed by fountains scattered around the plaza, and a network of small creeks between the hexagonal pavers.

Honeycomb building by BIG
Pool concept - click for larger image and key

The residences in the building offer a variety of floor plans that will suit the diverse lifestyles of its tenants. The residential lobby and high-end retail will activate the public plaza. A golf cart parking and storage units are oriented towards the parking lot on the north, in close proximity to Albany’s championship golf course.

Honeycomb building by BIG
Pattern concept - click for larger image and key

The Honeycomb will be the centrepiece of Albany's masterplan for a live, work, play environment unlike any other in The Bahamas.

Honeycomb building by BIG
Water feature concept - click for larger image and key

Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Sören Grünert
Team: Benzi Rodman, David Spittler, Jenny Shen, Karen Shiue, Lujac Desautel, Romea Muryn, Brian Foster
Client: Tavistock Group / New Valley LLC
Collaborators: HKS architects (local architect), Michael Diggiss Architects (executive architect)

  • Trent

    Seems economical to build and totally efficient. NOT!

  • Pedro

    Can only imagine the condo associations dues! Not to mention the assessments when in 2 or 3 years all those pools start to leak.

  • dahuzi

    Why the bull?

  • Yuri

    We need more Peter Zumthor’s/John Pawson’s in the world. Tired of “rational” theatrical architecture.

  • Lip service

    BIG leakage problem!

  • spadestick

    Obviously BIG has no clue about exclusivity. The public is allowed to hang around the pool within the compounds? Not every urban situation is like Copenhagen. Expect the developers to start changing things around. Lastly, where are all the locals in the renderings? Since this is a public plaza – we see everything apart from the locals.

  • melon

    No Bjarke, NO.

  • Rzepka Eric

    Dammed! You can’t have sex on such hot tub balcony. For sure is worth ruining your Bahamian vacation.

  • Aaron

    Being from the Caribbean I find this totally pointless. The island has so many beaches. Why do you need a swimming pool on your balcony?

  • They will stack rich people in faceless egalitarian bee hives – how funny.

  • marco

    Always easy to criticize guys… what have you done if a client asked for a pool on the balcony? And it’s not so expensive as it looks. Come on! There are uglier buildings around the world (Coop Himmelb(l)au for example).