THE fire blaze that consumed the historic centre of Soufriere in October, leaving behind a trail of embers and tears, impacted on the design team of Boka Group, who had just completed a month photographing the historic buildings of the island as part of their concept design workshop in preparation of the new five star resort facility to be built at nearby Belvedere Plantation.
Company architect, Iva Petkovic said: “Not only did Soufriere inspire us, but the buildings of Church Street drew our attention. Our photographs of those buildings now reduced to ash are a heavy inspiration to us and have been extensively recorded in our archives.
“By a sad irony, one of the buildings destroyed in Church Street was a family home of Bokar’s own Managing Director (Saint Lucia), Mr George Alcindor. This strong link gives us a determination to reincarnate the vernacular and designs of those buildings within the new ones that will rise at Belvedere Plantation. We believe they will be symbolic of Saint Lucia’s core character and strength of spirit – always facing adversity as an obstacle and not an end” Potkovic.
Alcindor said: “The family home in Church Street, where my grandparents lived, was the place of many of my childhood memories and it was consumed by the flames on the night of Thursday October 22. In the grotesque heat, one hundred years was reduced to ash in one hundred minutes – but the spirit and architecture of those buildings all of us are so familiar with as Saint Lucians has become the inspiration for new buildings that will soon rise at Belvedere Plantation.
“This is a tribute to Saint Lucia’s unique style and is symbolic of what we have been trying to create at Belvedere Plantation, something new, but not alien – visitors to the island will be able to live the spirit of Saint Lucia. It is true to say that the sad demise of something special has directly led to inspiration in our design process”.