By Alan Markoff, Camana Bay Times
Just like any other town, Camana Bay has evolved.
It’s not just the tenants that have evolved in the decade since the Town Centre opened; the landscaping has evolved; the type of visitors has evolved; they way people use the spaces has evolved; and, as One Nexus Way – Camana Bay’s next Class A office building – exemplifies, design and construction have also evolved.
Gary Gibbs, Vice President Construction Management for Dart Development, which serves as both the construction manager and design manager for the building, says there has been a conceptual progression of the buildings at Camana Bay. Some of those progressions are more obvious to casual observers than others.
“It’s going to be a colourful building,” he says, noting that One Nexus Way amplifies what started on 18 Forum Lane, its sister building in the same block.
“With 18 Forum Lane, we attempted to use more colour and you can see that in the exteriors with the blues and the greens, the HardiePlank® siding and the multi-toned stucco and soffits,” he says. “That’s going to be taken even further on One Nexus Way and there will be the introduction of even more colour. It’s going to be a pretty cool looking building at the end of the day.”
One of the unique applications of colour on One Nexus Way will involve some of the glazing.
“For the first time at Camana Bay, we’re going to use coloured hurricane-rated glass for the enclosure around the main entrance lobby,” Gibbs says. “This will create different shadows, reflections and a play on light and colour within the lobby itself. It’s going to be subtle – it’s not like a stained glass effect – but there will be three or four different multi-toned glass panels around the lobby.”
The interior lobby itself will also have another feature that is unique in Camana Bay.
“The common area lobby will be enhanced not only in terms of finishes and the selection of finishes, but will also have a completely finished interior stairwell that is visible from the lobby,” Gibbs says.
Instead of the typical heavy fire doors that seal off stairwells in most buildings, One Nexus Way will have a fire-rated, roll-down shutter.
“This will allow you to go into the lobby and right up the stairs instead of having to go through a massive fire door,” Gibbs says, adding that the stairwell will feature finished walls, tile and an attractive banister. “The purpose of this design feature is to encourage folks to use the stairs instead of the elevator.”
Camana Bay’s courtyards have always been important elements of the Town Centre’s design. The courtyard in between the One Nexus Way and 18 Forum Lane buildings will be the largest one in Camana Bay, says Dart Development Design Manager Ross Tibbetts.
“It will be nearly twice the size of our second largest courtyard,” he says. “The way it’s shaped, we think about it as two courtyards, each with its own personality.”
Another of the unique aspects of One Nexus Way is that it has been designed to accommodate a restaurant, with all the necessary infrastructure already built in.
Tibbetts said the new courtyard will provide space for 100 to 120 outdoor seats for the restaurant, but that number is only a fraction of how much seating there will be in the entire courtyard.
“You will have 600 to 1,000 people working in the two buildings that form the courtyard, so you need a lot of space and a lot of seating,” he says. “People are going to be dining, meeting, having impromptu conversations, so the courtyard needs to be large. It’s large, but it’s also intimate because the two office buildings form what we call an ‘outdoor room’ and give the courtyard a sense of place.”
When the 18 Forum Lane building opened in late 2015, it was the first mixed-use building in the Cayman Islands to earn LEED Gold certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and to encourage sustainable design.
When completed, the four-storey, 86,000-square-foot One Nexus Way building will be LEED Gold certified as well. Attaining that rating wasn’t easy, especially when it came to the landscaping, which has to be done in conjunction with the 18 Forum Lane building because they share the same courtyard.
“We wanted 18 Forum Lane to be LEED Gold-certified, which meant using plants that needed very little water through irrigation,” Tibbetts says. “So you’re talking about palm trees and cactus-type plants. On top of that, we were allowed to use only what was in stock at the nursery and we were limited on how much we could spend on the landscape plants.”
Although the 18 Forum Lane building ended up looking very attractive, the trade-off in attaining LEED Gold certification was that the landscaping wasn’t lush and tropical. Tibbetts said the decision was made on One Nexus Way to sacrifice some of the LEED points awarded for sustainable landscaping so that the new courtyard could be lushly landscaped, in keeping with Camana Bay’s other courtyards. However, because of some other sustainable building measures implemented, One Nexus Way will still attain LEED Gold certification.
One Nexus Way is scheduled for completion in October of this year. For information on leasing opportunities in the building, contact Dan Purdy at [email protected].