Cadence Art Center
In the heart of the Caribbean, Zomorrodi & Associates introduces the Cadence Art Center, a groundbreaking project blending recreation, commerce, and culture on the enchanting island of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Led by Principal Architect Shahrooz Zomorrodi, the design team collaborated to create a dynamic space that not only reflects the island’s rich cultural heritage but also harmonizes with its breathtaking natural surroundings.
The Cadence Art Center stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity, with its distinctive form mimicking the graceful movement of ocean waves. Initially conceived as a hotel, the project’s transformation into a commercial, cultural, and recreational center was fueled by a deep understanding of the island’s identity and the desire to connect with its people. The shell-like structure rises from the ground, culminating in the open-air amphitheater—a symbolic heart of the project that encourages communal gathering and communication through dance.
Cadence isn’t just a structure; it’s a hub for diverse activities. The modular system, with units of approximately 5×5 meters, forms the backbone for various spaces including open-air amphitheaters, play areas, cinemas, galleries, libraries, restaurants, food courts, handicraft sales booths, and administrative offices. Adapting to the land’s shape and orientation, the modular design minimizes excavation and fosters a connection between the built environment and the natural terrain.
The design addresses the unique challenges faced by the island, such as limited drinking water. The innovative use of a rainwater pool at the center of the amphitheater not only serves as a visual element reflecting nature but also contributes to sustainable water practices within the complex. The roof of the amphitheater, designed for climate comfort, remains open from the sides, providing a dual perspective of the city and the sea, taking full advantage of the island’s pleasant weather.
More than just a structure, Cadence aspires to be a symbol of urban identity on the island. From a distance, the project engages in a visual dialogue with its surroundings, offering an open view of the city and the sea. The facade, designed to cut through the main volume, reveals the essence of the project—a collage of various activities within a larger frame, symbolizing the vibrant life and identity of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The evolution of Cadence from a hotel to a cultural nexus showcases the architects’ commitment to understanding the needs of both tourists and residents. By embracing the universal language of dance and music, Cadence aims to connect with the hearts of the people, becoming a dynamic center that transcends races and skin colors.