Architect John Hix has designed a hotel complex called Hix Island House in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The most recently completed guest house on the property is called Casa Solaris and it is entirely complete off-grid and runs entirely on solar power. 

As with the other buildings on site, Hix designed Casa Solaris to take advantage of the natural elements in Vieques. He uses openings to capture the trade winds that flow across the island by the use of strategically-placed walls and windows. The house is built of block and reinforced concrete - a common material in the Caribbean because of its strength and ability to withstand hurricane-force winds - and the unpainted exterior surface makes for an interesting contrast to the lush surroundings of the property. In keeping with the environmentally-friendly theme, the bathrooms recycle grey water from sinks and showers to help irrigate the surrounding landscape which includes native plants like hibiscus, banana, key lime, and ginger.


Michael Grimm


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