Big Rock Cottage

St. John, US Virgin Islands

Residential Winner
Architect: Douglas White

“I love how local wood and vernacular architecture provide naturally climate-responsive design and built-in pest resistance."

  • 900 square-foot traditional vernacular West Indian cottage, a style which nearly became extinct after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995, using single skin wooden exterior, which is extremely resource efficient. 
  • Highest rating, 5-Star Tropical Green Building Certification, which requires all tropical hardwoods to be FSC certified. 
  • 100% of the cottage structure, studs, top & bottom plates, 
rafters, siding, roof decking is FSC certified.
  • Regionally sourced, FSC-certified Manchiche, (lonchocarpus castilloi) is used for the structural frame and FSC-certified Santa Maria (callophyllum brasilliensis) is used for shiplap siding & roof decking.
  • 100% of kitchen, bathroom, buffet and refrigerator cabinet facing is FSC-certified Manchiche lumber. Dining room table and mahogany bed are FSC certified.
  • “Bush tested” woods by leaving them near termite nests for months, to ensure they were truly termite resistant.