Art Deco revival in Grand Cayman

December 21, 2022 Real Estate Trends


One hundred years since the roaring 1920s, and Art Deco is still one of the most beloved design philosophies revered by architects, designers, and everyone in between.  At its core, Art Deco philosophy rests on the intent to create a sleek and anti-traditional elegance symbolizing wealth and sophistication.  So, when exploring design options for their next project FIN, developers Mike Ryan and Dale Crighton were inspired by the elegance, luxury, and distinctiveness of Deco, and with its long-term connection to the Caribbean, think South Beach or Havana, it felt like a most natural choice. 

In the development of their art deco inspired residential project on the shores of Grand Cayman’s Capital George Town’s Harbour, they made a promise to each other and to their buyers, that whatever is bought for FIN, whatever is installed at FIN, must be of the highest quality and where possible, of genuine Art Deco.

To achieve this, a team of the best in the world – SPAARC Architects, Linley, Mantis, ATM – were brought on to deliver a streamline Art Deco building, complete with the chrome accents geometric angles and the typical curvatures expected in such a build. The linear architectural details, such as the “fin” were custom designed, built and installed by FIN’s team and specialist contractor, Gemstar.  The result is astonishing, pulling the eye north to south, making it appear like the building itself is in motion.

The Last Word in Luxury, FIN’s tagline, were words lived by during the design, construction, and delivery of Grand Cayman’s newest and most luxurious address.  Every element was weighed and tested prior to purchase, if it didn’t have a luxury feel or weight to it, it was rejected.  Materials that fit the deco design were incorporated into the architecture such as marine grade polished stainless-steel bands wrapping effortlessly around the building, bespoke lighting design illuminating the intricate facade elements, and bespoke entrances for every residential tower. 

A Deco property wouldn’t be complete without a show stopping pool, or two. There is something uniquely refreshing and indulgent about bathing in the faded grandeur of an Art Deco swimming pool.  FIN’s pool and oceanfront saltwater lagoon are not of a typical Deco design, but their setting and ornamental accoutrements evoke an unforgettable soak, especially once the sun has set and the lights illuminate the sleek lines and metallic accents of the structure.  

The developer duo insisted that the Deco design, with a modern twist, must be incorporated into the interior fit outs adding chrome and marble details in the primary bathrooms, creating decorative designs reminiscent of art deco movement, and combining with carefully selected fixtures provided by Kohler, Kallista and Restoration Hardware the result is a opulent deco home, with the modern amenities expected in a luxury property.

The most significant design elements, namely the façade, common area doors, gates, railings, and elevator details, were custom designed by FIN and fabricated by the renowned  artisans at Belt.  These critical design elements elevated the streamlined building to what the developer believe will be an iconic building for the region.  

In the common areas, Ryan and Crighton wanted to create a true 1920s club feel to the owner’s lounge.  Unique, genuine 1920s pieces were sourced from around the globe, from the owners’ conference room table and chairs to the oceanfront lounge furnishings, the result is a luxurious, comfortable, and exclusive space for owners to gather and enjoy the beautiful ocean views from their private club-like lounge. 

The developers’ involvement didn’t stop at architectural plans and specialty installations, knowing the importance of the smallest of details, they were intricately involved in the design process, selecting everything from door handles, light fixtures, paint colors, even down to the polished stainless steel linear drain covers which were custom made in Slovakia by LeCom Ltd.  No decision was too small, and all worth the time and effort as they realized a new standard for the island, far surpassing what Ryan had achieved with the development of The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Resort and Residences and Crighton with the successful development of the exclusive residential enclave, Crystal Harbour. 

The dedication to delivering on the promise of true quality and genuine grandeur never wavered even despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19.  Now that the project is completed and owners are happily in residence, Mike and Dale are still working on ways to add to FIN and its service platform, whether its additional electric bikes to glide into nearby George Town or on site wine tasting, specialist spa sessions or on property yoga courses, providing never-ending value to its owners and their guests. 

After the tremendous success of FIN, Mike and Dale are partnering again on a project in Grand Cayman.  The future project comprises 108 residences, a thoughtful mix of loft style apartments, townhomes, and exclusive villas, surrounding a marine basin complimented by several food and beverage outlets, retail opportunities and a luxury boutique hotel   The project, located in Crystal Harbour, will bring much needed amenities to the exclusive neighborhood and will celebrate the extraordinary diversity of the islands through its design and amenity offerings. 

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