By Maia Muttoo, Camana Bay Times
The cooling breezes that flow through Camana Bay were part of the plan from the beginning.
Employing the concept of New Urbanism, a planning approach that promotes self-sustaining communities, Camana Bay was designed to embrace environmentally friendly building practices. Harnessing nature was essential in realising a Town Centre for outdoor communion and guest comfort. Channeling prevailing winds to quell the island’s warm tropical climate was one initiative designed to enhance guest and tenant experience.
In 2003, Rowan Williams Davies and Irwin Inc., a renowned engineering firm specialising in wind and its effect on user comfort, was engaged to conduct a study at Camana Bay.
“The output of the pedestrian comfort study was to position the Camana Bay Town Centre in an east-west orientation to maximise capture and circulation of the prevailing easterly breezes,” says Jared Grimes, Vice President of Development Planning with the Dart-owned Third Palm Capital.
While a number of methods, including tower wind scoops and sculptures to “redirect elevated breezes to the ground level,” were considered, it was concluded that developing breezeways (covered outdoor passages) directly into structures would be most effective.
Two breezeways were constructed to maximise cooling – one adjoining Cassia Court to the north and another adjoining Canella Court to the south. Not only did they open up alternative pathways to and from the development’s multi-use courtyards, but they also allowed respite from heat and acted as event venues during inclement weather.
Function was complemented by aestheticism – Sam Fidler of the Design Theorem conceptualised the breezeways’ overhead mosaics – which use luxury tile brand Bisazza – in partnership with architects Moore Ruble Yudell to visually depict Cayman’s environment, with one portraying ripples on water and the other a cluster of sea anemones. Through practical and visually pleasing design elements, the breezeways harness nature to improve public experience, create spaces for relaxation and promote sustainability at Camana Bay.