Hurricane Proof Cabana

Hurricane Proof Cabana

So technically it’s not hurricane proof. In the binary world of fight or flight, it’s flight in the form of a de-mountable structure. Only a hardened bunker survives a Category 5 hurricane, and who wants to design a pillbox?

A Caribbean resort approached Tentrix to assist in the redesign of a series of beachfront cabins that had been destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Irma hit the BVI hard with winds exceeding 180mph, leaving very little in its wake. The island suffered over $70B in devastation with dozens of lives lost.

Weather is mostly tame in the BVI, hovering at a balmy 80 degrees year-round with a gentle sea breeze, hence the attraction as a tourist destination. But every now and again the island paradise is walloped by a massive storm. Architects design stout enough to survive a hurricane, or cost-effectively enough to rebuild afterwards. There’s another option.

Concept Sketch for Manta Cabana duplex. There’s also a single design – ideal for honeymoon suite.

Under the principle of lightweight engineering, we designed a demountable structure that feels permanent, but can be dropped if needed. Violent storms give ample warning. After furnishings are removed, our Manta cabana essentially folds in on itself, the canopy is removed, and the entire unit is battened down to survive any storm.

When the sun returns, within a day the cabana can be restored to original condition so the resort can reopen for business.

Manta Cabana1
Concept sketch only. We never reached the engineering stage, so go easy on the structural critique. Open air concept is obviously not suited for any locale with temperature swings.
BVI is known for the Manta Ray, the inspiration for our ‘Manta Cabana’

Demounting is not something you’d want to do on a weekly basis, but given the frequency of tropical storms in a given location, it’s an option worth considering. Unfortunately for us, this resort was snatched up by a large hotel conglomerate and our concept was outside the scope of their very narrow design parameters.

manta cabana2
Bathroom and kitchenette are hidden behind the bed