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Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has finally given his beloved Necker Island—a 74-acre tropical haven in the North Pacific—a new sibling. Branson’s most recent lush purchase, Moskito Island, sits only a mere two miles away from its sister island, which has played host to such dazzling luminaries as Mariah Carey, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, and even the Obama family, who spent a few nights on Necker after the patriarch’s eight-year tenure in the White House. And longtime fans of Necker Island are going to want to check out the stylish digs across the water because there are 10 private estates, three of which (including Branson’s own 11-bedroom mansion) are available to rent starting from October 1st onward.
“The British Virgin Islands have been a love of mine ever since I first visited. When I heard Moskito Island was available for sale, there were whispers of plans for a large hotel to be built on the island, and it just would have been such a shame to spoil the incredible landscape. The opportunity arose to purchase Moskito Island, and we set about making plans to ensure its natural beauty was maintained and to develop it with others who love the BVI as much as I do,” Branson says. Everyone who finds themselves on the 125-acre island will likely develop strong feelings of affection too.
After all, each rentable estate has its own completely different yet equally striking design. And they’re all connected by a multitude of recreational amenities, including the master Beach Pavilion, which comprises a bar, gaming and movie areas, and a wrap-around pool. Branson explains, “This is just the very beginning for Moskito Island. What makes it so unique is that it is not just about my vision but also of the other homeowners. They each have their own distinctive ideas, and we’ve all come together in the development of Moskito to share our love of the area and the BVI.”
One such development is the Oasis estate, perched upon the island’s highest point and designed by Dewing Schmid Kearns Architects + Planners’ director, Mike Sinesi. The nine-bedroom spot, which is utterly contemporary with sleek and sharp lines, innovative use of natural materials, and floor-to-ceiling windows at nearly every turn, masterfully incorporates the owners’ own aesthetic in the design. Sinesi says, “The home is conceived with sculptural, artful forms. The shapes are combined in a Cubist manner that creates interstitial spaces with overlapping forms. There is a clear intention of biophilic design with blended indoor and outdoor living spaces.” Design aside, Oasis is complete with just about every amenity a short-term guest could want: Multiple bars (including a swim-up one), a billiards room, cinema theater, and a grassy rooftop deck that boasts unobstructed 360-degree views of the property below.
“The Moskito Island design guidelines mandated a reference to the styles of traditional Balinese architecture. This design has atmospheric and intangible qualities that transform and interpret these characteristics in a contemporary manner: Broad, curving terraces and the long, shallow pool are reminiscent of the cultivated landscapes of Bail,” Sinesi says.
Plus, it’s about as sustainable as contemporary architecture gets: The design team incorporated photovoltaic and solar hot water panels on the roof, planted green roofs to give the estate an insulative layer, placed the overhangs and sunshades in specific areas of the home to reduce heat gain, and built massive glass sliding panels to encourage the breezes to passively cool the interiors, among a slew of other science-backed design decisions. What’s more: The project took a whopping six years to complete. That said, anyone who appreciates well-executed design understands that the best projects are worth the typically long wait, and Oasis is hardly an exception.
Regardless of which Balinese-inspired estate guests opt to visit, they’ll fall in love with the island much in the same way Branson did. His top secret spot? Manchineel Beach. “It has to be my very favorite spot on the island to relax and unwind. Its pristine waters are extremely calm on this side of the island with white sand, incredible sunsets, and unparalleled ocean views. Plus, it’s a great place to eat dinner with family and friends.” And the mesmerizing kaleidoscope of the sunsets certainly hit differently from a private island than they do from home.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest