1. Home
  2. /
  3. Visualization
  4. /
  5. Cadence, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis by Zomorrodi & As...

Cadence, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis by Zomorrodi & Associates

Project name:
Architecture firm:
Zomorrodi & Associates
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Tools used:
Principal architect:
Shahrooz Zomorrodi
Design team:
Payam Alrahman, Nastaran Shabanzadeh, Pedram Soroush, Faraz Tabatabaei, Mahla Tabaei, Yasmin Shahbodaghloo
Built area:
32,725 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Detail Design Supervisor: Hamed Nourian; Concept Design Lead: Melika Asgari Sereshg; Technical Design Lead: Hamed Noorian; Technical Design Team: Sonia Ghani, Faraz Tabatabaei, Melika Asgari, Alireza Mohit; Architectural presentation: Melika Asgari Sereshg, Sepideh Rezvani, Shiva Talebi, Narges Aminpour, Nastaran Shabanzadeh, Faraz Tabatabaei, Pedram Soroush
Afshin Khodabandehloo
Concept - Design
Cultural Architecture > Art Center

Zomorrodi & Associates: The Cadence Art Center in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis, is a project with recreational, commercial, and cultural uses. The island has a small population of 47,606, rich cultural DNA, and stunning nature. Cadence integrates with nature to reflect the island's identity and its form is a wavy curved shell, inspired by the flow of waves. the design includes various modules for activities in spaces such as outdoor music hall, amphitheaters, game areas, cinemas, galleries, library, food courts, handicraft sales areas, and offices. The modular system adapts to the land shape and rotates based on the site's orientation.

Cadence encourages community connection through twisting voids and entrances. The project’s heart is an open Amphitheatre with a special and iconic form. It uses a roof for climate comfort and offers a dual perspective of the city. serving as a communal gathering spot, the hall allows people to communicate through dance. Therefore, Cadence goes beyond a landmark and symbolizes the lively identity of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The design of the Cadence Art Center in Basseterre, the capital of Saint Kitts and Nevis, in the Caribbean Sea, initially began as a hotel project commissioned by the client.

The design of the project in such a distinctive geographical location required an understanding of the island's identity to ensure harmony and coherence with its context and the needs of its users. The results of studies showed that this small island with a population of 47,000 possesses a rich cultural heritage and captivating natural beauty. Despite various challenges, including economic issues, lack of employment opportunities, insufficient drinking water, and the absence of recreational and service facilities, the people live like one large family, intimately connected in a fine-grained urban fabric, blending into nature, and gathering together for dance and music.

Contrary to the unique experience tourists have during their initial visit to the island, they do not stay for an extended period, and there are numerous vacant hotels on the island. However, the project's investors were supposed to penetrate the island as external and unfamiliar entities. To connect with the hearts of the people, it was necessary to communicate in their language - a language beyond races and skin colors, a language of dance and music. This concern, along with other study findings, led to a change in the project's original idea from a hotel to a commercial, cultural, and recreational center that would cater to both tourists and residents.

One of the project's goals was to be recognized as an urban symbol on the island, inspired by nature and integrated with it, reflecting the culture of the people. The main challenge of the project was to resolve the contradiction between two subjective criteria: being an urban element and blending into the island's natural environment. The project's form is defined by a curved shell reminiscent of the movement of sea waves. The shell rises from the ground, reaches its peak at the heart of the project - the open-air amphitheater - and returns to nature at its end. The project's facade is designed to cut through the main volume, revealing the essence of the project.

Like a collage of various activities within a larger frame, it seems as if the activities and people complement and give meaning to this section.  This collage is evident from a distance and the entrance to the dock, visible from within the ships. The project engages in a dialogue with its surroundings and, from within and on the surface of the shell, offers an open view of the city and the sea. In the center of the amphitheater, a rainwater pool serves as a visual element to reflect nature.

The use of this visual element was based on the initial study results emphasizing the lack of drinking water on the island, leading to the decision to collect and use rainwater within the complex. Another feature of the amphitheater is its roof, protecting against rain while remaining open from the sides to offer a two-way view of the city, taking advantage of the island's pleasant weather. The project's design is based on modular units with approximate dimensions of 5x5 meters, forming the main framework for various activities in different spaces.

These spaces include open-air and covered amphitheaters, play areas, cinemas, galleries, libraries, restaurants, and food courts, handicraft sales booths, and administrative offices. This modular system rotates based on the site's direction and also utilizes the terrain slope to minimize excavation. The interior design of Cadence aims to create connections between users and includes multiple entrances and voids.

The Cadence Art Center in Saint Kitts and Nevis was designed as a coordinated response to the island's identity, transforming into a dynamic art center. Its curved shell, inspired by waves, integrates seamlessly with its context, and the open-air amphitheater serves as the beating heart of the project for events with the common language of dance and music. A modular system supports all activities that take place in this art center, and together, they help Cadence progress towards its main goal, which is a reflection of the identity of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

By Liliana Alvarez

Share on: