Kwanari Ecolodge in Dominica Will Showcase a New "Forest Caribbean" Architecture

Kwanari Ecolodge in Dominica Will Showcase a New "Forest Caribbean" Architecture

Kwanari Ecolodge

An Authentic Ecolodge Under Construction in Dominica

Kwanari Ecolodge, a project owned by Kasswebb Ltd., is located in Castle Bruce, on the eastern side of Dominica, which is 10 km south of the only native territory in the Caribbean – Kalinago. The Kwanari Ecolodge site occupies approximately seven acres and has been planned and designed by a team led by Hitesh Mehta from the USA and managed by Leonard Andre from Dominica, marrying international knowledge with local wisdom. The site includes a wellness center, forest and ocean villas, tree house, library, conference/local community hall, infinity-edge swimming pool, organic garden, mouinas (native-built pavilions or gazebos), boardwalks and trails.

 

Kwanari Ecolodge will be authentically "all inclusive" – including and welcoming the local communities of Castle Bruce, Kalinago Territory, the nearest village, and all those committed to a sustainable future for Dominica. The project will be a showcase for the crafts and produce of the local communities and provide a place to gather. Kwanari Ecolodge is scheduled to open in December 2013.

 

Forest Caribbean: A New Style of Architecture

Hitesh Mehta, Architect of HM Design, along with local architect Joffre Greene, is introducing a whole new style of architecture to the Caribbean – Forest Caribbean – which is a hybrid of the classic Caribbean architecture (with its intricate fretwork, balconies and dormer windows) and the "cabin in the woods" (logs, stone, rustic, contextual design) architecture prevalent in North America and Europe.

 

Every aspect of the lodge revolves around the site's most striking quality: the meeting of forest and sea. Each building has a theme that connects it with either the secondary forest or the Atlantic Ocean. The design aims to respect the site’s topography, hydrology, flora, and fauna, and will allow all natural systems to function and grow uninterrupted. The planning process even involved the protection of every large tree on site, with each building, pavilion, and boardwalk being built into the existing setting. Other ecological considerations include the use of only native plant species on site, grey water irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and the installation of low water use toilets and showers.

 

Meeting the standards of an Authentic Ecolodge as defined by The International Ecotourism Society, the planning and analysis process for the ecolodge placed an emphasis on the social and ecological integrity of the region and involved research into the history, culture, flora, and fauna of the island, interviews with various stakeholders, and open discussions with a wide cross-section of local citizens.

 

Kalinago WomanEcolodges as a Sustainable Development Tool for Local Communities

Today, the Kalinago people are among the poorest in Dominica, experiencing an exodus of young men and women from the community for school or work elsewhere. It is with this in mind that Kwanari Ecolodge is being developed so as to create jobs and support the Kalinago.

 

The territory's current leader, Chief Garnet Joseph, has been an active member of the analysis and planning team for the ecolodge and many Kalinago have been employed as contractors. Tourists at the lodge will also be able to visit the nearby Cultural Village where Kalinago community members have made an effort to revive cultural elements such as artisanry, dance, and even some of their native language through song and theater.

 

>> Learn more about Kwanari Ecolodge

 

 

Photos by HM Design

 

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