Meeting with Alistair Macbeth, the famous architect who has designed numerous masterpieces including villas and units of Anahita’s prestigious IRS project. Fascinated by the Mauritian’s spell, the Scottish shares with us his visions, inspirations and style regarding the new Macbeth villas currently under commercialisation in the northern part of the Anahita’s estate.
Born in Scotland, Belonging to a Scottish origin, how did you end up in Mauritius?
I live in Mauritius since 1976. I arrived here for an 18-year mission and I never left! Eventually in 1986, I established my own firm which became very famous and successful in the hotel and high-end residence sector. My expertise in architectural field led over the challenges laid by hotel architectural developments that were in a great evolutionary phase: a subtle blend of luxurious residences with theatrical architecture, island lifestyle with modernity, and lastly, tropical elegance with sophistication.
Tell us a little more about the passions you have for this island
Mauritius has a wide array of appealing facets: the climate, its population, the serenity, the cosmopolitan culture and many more, but my unique kind of passion is the journey that we undergo when we are entrusted with a new architectural project. All the logistics involved in the design and realisation of a high-end project in Mauritius, that’s my real passion.
You have studied architecture from the UK. Have you ever feel the need to rethink what you have learnt when you have arrived in Mauritius?
I have studied architecture at the University of Dundee and at the famous Royal college of Arts in the UK. My learning process has helped and prepared me to think out of the box. I was ready to confront the differences that would crop up in other countries of residence in relevance to the knowledge I have acquired. Actually, “rethink” is not right term. In fact I have adjusted my competencies to meet new challenges.
It is said that you have redefined the Mauritian style, do you agree? And can you elaborate more about what you envision?
“A new Mauritian Style” was the primary theme of the initial project brief of Anahita. As from there, I have analysed the impacts of the Mauritian style and environmental aspects on the spatial design, architectural specifications, choice of materials, which as whole, lead towards a new building style. Balconies, courtyards, ventilation, “shingle” roofs and more elements combined with a contemporary architecture and a residence with an open space are referred as the “new Mauritian style”. It is a sanctuary to enjoy the islander’s lifestyle nestled in a comfortable and luxurious environment.
You are the “architect of Anahita”. What are you going to offer in this ultimate grandiose project consisting of 12 prestigious villas?
Based on European standards, we offer a contemporary place to accommodate the best Mauritian life style. The state-of-the-art structure of the space will offer the owner, according to his actual desires, with the ultimate in pampering such as: cherishing wonderful moments from their balcony or in the air conditioned areas. It’s simply the best from two distinct worlds: Western and Tropical.
How do you feel today? More like a Scottish or a Mauritian?
Mauritius was very generous to me, all I wish is to be able to give something in return. Today I am more likely a Mauritian, happy with the lifestyle and the job opportunities that the island are offering me. However, during a rugby match, whenever Scotland wins, loses or gets lucky, it’s the Scottish ‘Braveheart’ which beats inside me and I feel passionate for my country. You can easily take the man away from Scotland but you can never take Scotland away from the man!
Through this article, we can only tell you about the vision of architecture, but to get emerged in the luxury of Anahita, the best way is to discover these villas personally and at your own pace.