Camana Bay

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Location: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies
Project Categories: UrbanismCodes
Year Started: 2008
Status: construction
Size: 468 acres

Located on Grand Cayman just north of the Cayman Islands capital of George Town, Camana Bay is a new mixed-use community comprised of three diverse, inter-connected neighborhoods arranged along a distinctive network of canals, harbor frontages, and a necklace of open spaces and pathways.

Stretching from the Caribbean Sea to the North Sound, the new town consists of approximately 500 acres. An Urban Charrette in the Spring of 2008 produced a master plan extension of a largely con- structed urban core conceived by Moore Ruble and Yudell, Olin Partnership and a number of other firms. The Charrette Plan incorporated the existing buildings and three canals, into a larger urban structure consisting of new north-south canals and a new harbor and marina off the North Sound. In the process, three neighborhoods were delineated: the first centered around the built downtown overlooking the Town Center Harbor; the second around the smaller scale Eastern Harbor; and the third around a cluster of existing civic buildings, including a school and a theater. The second phase of development was addressed in an Architectural Charrette in October of 2008 which focused on the areas between the Town Center Harbor and the elementary school to the south.

Experience the entire charrette process for our Camana Bay project in the Cayman Islands, produced by Radiant Features for PBS.

While the urban core already exemplifies a more formal, urbane environment with elegant shopfronts and restaurants, the surrounding neighborhoods will contribute to the compact, mixed-use framework of the larger town with their own distinct flavor--one with the civic presence of the school, theater and a community pool, the other with the feel of a small fishing village. The scale of the buildings and the varied character of the water frontages reinforce the urban to rural transect of the plan. From the busy, hard-edged urbanity of the Town Center Harbor there is an intentional transition to the more relaxed, more naturalistic and less dense edges along the predominantly residential canals to the east. Weaving through the community is a network of pedestrian paths and bike trails that often border the waterways and link the green spaces and civic facilities.

The architectural character of the town also operates along an aesthetic transect of sorts . From the Tropical Modern of the Town Center by MRY and school-theatre complex by DMJM, the architectural vocabulary transitions eastward into a more rustic Island Vernacular. In between is Camana Fusion, where contemporary elements meet traditional proportions and massing. A range of residential building types from detached residences, to courtyard houses, to rowhouses, to multifamily, and mixed-use structures will embody these 3 aesthetics as they respond to the demands of the Caribbean climate with regards to cross-ventilation, solar orientation, rainfall, as well as the need for storm protection.

Illustration showing the second phase of development at Camana Bay. The blocks and houses to the right side of the image were designed during an architectural charrette. Master plan for Camana Bay. Buildings in the darkest brown existed prior to the plan. Regulating plan for Camana Bay Diagram showing private lots and urban buildings (saleable land) Diagraim showing the vehicular thoroughfare network Illustration showing a condition where a street is adjacent to a canal Illustration showing a hard-edge canal condition Illustration showing a mangrove-edge canal condition

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