The story of Eileen & Frank, the architects
Decades ago, the surfer-couple Frank and Eileen set foot on the Island of São Vicente. As Frank had always been drawn to oceans, travelling the world in search of the best of everything had seemed inevitable. He found his partner in crime (or better, in adventure and love), in Eileen.
The Cape Verdian archipel turned out to be the best alternative to the Pacific: easy to reach and still so virgin. Of course, some of the islands have become, over the past decades, more popular destinations for holidays throughout the year thanks to the ‘eternal summer’. But most of the islands of Cape Verde, are in their earliest phase of tourist development.
About 15 years ago, a turning point: a couple they had met in Antwerp asked them to build them a hotel on the island of São Vicente in Cabo Verde. This was long before there was tourism on this island. It ended up becoming the starting point of a liking that evolved into love for the country, the people, the culture.This triggered their excitement of doing more local projects. And they did.
They are the inspirators and designers of what is now developing into a marvelous resort consisting of 80 villa-apartments following the rules of which they themselves had set: respectful to nature and the local community, use of local materials, following the morphology of the landscape and with mayor attention for the sustainability factor.
As São Vicente is the cultural capital of Cabo Verde, it oozes music, mixture of cultures, colours… It is the best of African history, blended with a European spirit and a Creola-salsa from the Caribbean. It is unique, and kind in its roughness.
When asking Frank & Eileen what they like most about the island, they both look up and smile, as if picturing what cannot be said in words.
“It is not perfect, but there is so much beauty in imperfection. The uniqueness of authenticity is hardly found this close to home and so accessible for us, as Europeans. And it is just this principle of feeling a profound love for the imperfect perfection, that became the inspiration for a project that started with a dream, and is now becoming reality.