2020 Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize, First Prize: Building Biras

By MacKenzie Wasson (MArch I ’20) — Recipient of the 2020 Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize, First Prize.

Building Biras: A Hurricane Adapted Caribbean Resort is a response to the devastation caused by frequent hurricanes in the Caribbean. Nestled in the lush landscape of the British Virgin Islands, the project establishes a new resort model that provides security to the local populace, a better guest experience and an opportunity for investors with site-specific architectural typologies rooted in the culture of the place. The development and design strategy pairs disruptive business strategies with innovative architectural design to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Squeezed between the spines of three ridges and three bodies of water, the project formulates specific architectural responses to the four primary environmental zones of the island: aquatic, flat land, hillside, and ridge.