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October 7, 2019 - Zil Pasyon Residences are a design-enthusiast’s dream. More than a place to call home, these granite residences represent the concept of blending into the landscape and leaving an untouched Seychellois island… well, untouched!
Zil Pasyon Residences are the only homes on the Seychellois island of Félicité. Visitors are drawn to the archipelago’s crystalline seas, coral cays, pristine reef islands and sublime beaches. There are jungles to explore, calm bays to snorkel and mountains to trek.
The 268-hectare granite island previously served as a plantation harvesting coconuts, wild vanilla and cashew nuts. Six Senses has worked for over 10 years to restore the natural habitat by collecting seeds and cuttings from native plants and establishing a nursery to re-introduce the lost species, which had long been pushed out by foreign plants. We are on track to achieve the ultimate aim of self-sufficiency, with an established organic vegetable garden, the largest fruit orchard in the Seychelles and the sourcing of only local fish for use in the restaurants. The need for plastic bottle use and importation of water has been eradicated altogether using the island’s own water treating facility.
Zil Pasyon Residences are no exception to this incredible story, with every aspect designed to work in harmony with the environment through sensitive architecture, intelligent ecological practices and a commitment to nurturing the tropical island home in which they’re situated. The contemporary design notably features a glass-bottom rooftop swimming pool and a private infinity pool deck.
We sat down with the architect Richard Hywel-Evans of Studio RHE to discuss what sets these residences apart, transforming them into not just a home, but a lifestyle and asset.
Can you tell us about the design of Zil Pasyon and what makes it unique?
“Zil Pasyon is set on a perfect, untouched Seychelles granitic island, surrounded by white sand beaches cosseted by palm trees, granite outcrops and verdant jungle which includes rare flora & fauna such as the double coconut Coco de Mer.
The views of the surrounding islands Praslin, La Digue and Coco provide an ever-changing backdrop to the Indian Ocean scenery.
Set on the island’s water edge is the Village, made from indigenous materials; palm leaves, timber and sand offering a fabulous beach experience - dining with your feet in the sand or having a spa treatment in one of the unique boulder-side treatment pavilions.”
Set above these and quite disconnected are the residences - unlike anywhere else in the world!”
How did the original idea for the residences come about?
“We had originally designed residences for another island and were asked to use the same design, but when we saw the island of Félicité it became paramount to us that the new residences needed to become a part of it and effectively unseen.”
What were the challenges when working in this kind of environment?
“To make meaningful architectural designs that use the local materials as far as possible, and do not detract from their environment but add to it.”
What are your favorite features about the residences?
“It has to be the see-through swimming pools over the main reception. They provide cool light deep into the room and a lot of fun!”
How has the building been developed to integrate with the natural surrounding landscape?
“The residences are designed to emerge gently from the hillside as rough granite, the same material and following the hillside angle. The plan is able to react to each site individually, leaving any unique features untouched or framing others where possible.”
Tell us about how the Six Senses ethos fits into your design?
“We are on the same page!
We both care deeply about the natural environment, local resources and energy use. Those ethical design mantras are at the core of what we do and how Six Senses manages its destinations.”
What do you hope a development like Zil Pasyon Residences will bring to the local area?
“The ambition was that it would provide a new example for development of the islands; that is sympathetic to the location, embraces local people, customs, cuisine, and nature.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
“It always comes from the site, but of course this is then blended with our continued learning from experiences and sights around the world.”
What does the Six Senses brand mean to you?
“Quality - of care, service, design, thought and cuisine - it’s the foremost brand of recent times.”
Can you sum up Zil Pasyon Residences in three words?
“Translated from Creole: Island of Passion”
These residences are available for purchase now. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.