Stunning contemporary architecture in Mauritius
Mauritius is home to some of the most stunning tropical building design in the world, which we’ve written about before in our feature on the history of Mauritian architecture. But we can also pull off a crisp, modern style with aplomb, as seen in our round-up of the best contemporary architecture on the island. These are a few of our personal favourites, but do you have others to share? Let us know in the comments below.
The Mauritius Commercial Bank, Ebene
Outside Port Louis in the business district of Ebene, the Mauritius Commercial Bank, more commonly known as the MCB building, was the first in the southern hemisphere to achieve a BREEAM rating – the most widely used method of certifying sustainability. With an instantly recognisable elliptical shape that is now an icon of Mauritius, the MCB prides itself on eco features such as rainwater harvesting, use of recycled products in all its furniture and flooring, and low energy lighting.
Passenger terminal at SSR International Airport
SSR International Airport’s new passenger terminal is the boldest new example of contemporary architecture on the island. Constructed predominantly from glass and steel, the building’s defining feature is its ravenala palm tree-inspired roof, with ‘fronds’ which extend to the sides and provide shade to the boarding lounges. And it seems the rest of the world approves. The airport was awarded the title of Best Airport in the Indian Ocean in the 2014 World Airport Awards, known as the Oscars of the airport industry.
Long Beach hotel
Since opening in 2011, Long Beach has set the standard for contemporary hotel design in Mauritius. Planned around a central piazza, the guestrooms are placed in crescent-shaped clusters to maximise sea views, and the urban style and angular lines of the buildings are softened by the use of natural forms and materials such as driftwood and stone. The result feels casual yet luxurious, with magnificent use of scale and natural light.
Baystone Boutique Hotel & Spa
Located in Pointe aux Cannoniers in the northwest corner of Mauritius, the Baystone Boutique Hotel & Spa was designed by New York architect Albert Angel as a contemporary interpretation of its tropical surroundings. Drawing watery inspiration from the ocean directly facing the resort, the design uses organic forms, wave-shaped walls and floating chandeliers to conjure an underwater atmosphere and provide an immersive experience.
Plage Bleue Beachfront Apartments
Five minutes from Trou aux Biches on the north east coast, the dazzling Plage Bleue Beachfront Apartments offer sea facing, glass-fronted balconies and terraces, an infinity pool and perfectly manicured landscaped gardens. The sleek, white-rendered apartments make bold use of glass, chrome and dark wooden awnings, for a thoroughly modern vibe that still feels warm and personal.
French Institute of Mauritius
One of the most prominent buildings in Rose Hill is the French Institute of Mauritius, designed by Lampotang & Slew Architects, who used the ‘laboratory of cultures’ that is Mauritius as their starting point. The building is entered through four glass portals, each representing different local cultures. Inside the bright upper-ground floor, nature is given pride of place by retaining the three original mature trees which existed previously in this space – with a nod to the blurring of indoor/outdoor spaces so common in the context of the island’s tropical climate.