White House Village - Where Poetry and Efficiency Meet

Sometimes, the worlds of poetry and efficiency collide in a really good way… such is the case when you build a village of white houses in the tropics.

Poetic things are usually considered nearly opposite to efficient things, as different from one another as an artist is from an engineer. But Leonardo da Vinci was both… and a white house in a tropical climate can be both poetic and efficient as well.

There are no silver bullets to sustainability, but one thing comes close: a light-colored roof. If all the dark roofs in parts of the world where people use air conditioners were simply painted white, unimaginable energy would be saved.

You could literally power several small nations with the savings. So building a tropical village of white houses is a highly efficient thing because all those light roofs and walls reflect most of the sun’s heat before it ever reaches the interiors of the buildings.

A village of white houses can be a highly poetic place, as you can see from these images of Mahogany Bay Village, which is now being built on Belize’s Ambergris Caye. Some of that poetry is harbored in the past, nestling in our romantic images of the ancient tropical escapes of our childhood books and dreams. But more of it is firmly ensconced in the present moment, as the village cloaks itself over and over with the ever-changing light of the day.

You can see snapshots of that fleeting attire in the images of this post, taken in moments over just a three-day span recently.

~Steve Mouzon

PS: Here are more pictures of Mahogany Bay Village.

Legacy Comments

Steve Mouzon · Board Member at Sky Institute for the Future
Look what can happen as the changing light of a day unfolds across the simplest of canvases: a village of white walls. And it turns out that this is one of the most efficient things you can do if you're building in a place that needs air conditioning. It's Mahogany Bay Village in Belize, which I've been writing about a good bit recently at studiosky.co/blog
May 16, 2014 8:02am


© Studio Sky 2014