Back in the day when we were kids growing up in St. Croix, I can remember helping my Dad prep our house for oncoming hurricanes by affixing large masking tape “X’s” to our windows. The idea, I surmised, was that the tape would hold the glass together if any flying projectiles ever took aim at our house.
This always seemed odd to me, the inherent counterintuitiveness of safeguarding windows by taping “X marks the spot” bullseyes on ’em not necessarily filling my little boy head with much confidence.
Either way, the theory was never seriously tested at our house – hurricanes David and Frederic, the two most notorious storms of my youth, only dealt glancing blows to St. Croix – and as experts have been quick to point out at every opportunity lately, taping windows just doesn’t work.
What has been working for a small yet seemingly increasing number of homeowners in the Caribbean, though, is building homes and structures purposely designed to withstand hurricanes in all their fury. Homes like The Bubble House.
This uniquely rotund residence can be found on Cayman Brac, a small (about 15 square miles) and eminently uncommon paradise located a good 90 miles north of Grand Cayman. It’s a sleepy island, offering world class diving, some nice hiking and spelunking opportunities, fishing, watersports, and not much else; the perfect place to run off to and live a quiet life.
I’m guessing that’s what the original owner was thinking. From what I’ve read, he was apparently a French businessman of some stature. Unfortunately for him, though, he got busted for embezzlement before the house was completed in the early 1990s.
The house the Frenchman never got to call home measures 5,500 square-feet inside and is virtually hurricane-proof. Owing to its shape and construction, The Bubble House can withstand winds clocking up to 300 mph!
Someone else calls The Bubble House home these days, so if you happen by to snap a few pics, you’ll want to be respectful and keep your visit short.
Photo credit: Flickr user Lee Shoal.