On the Beach

The modern ruin is the perfect trope of the technological era, a perfect blend of nostalgia, retro utopianism and brutal schadenfreude. There can be few more complete composites of these elements than Dellis Cay, a proposed development of starchitect-designed villas and serviced apartments on a virgin stretch of undeveloped island in the Turks and Caicos. Dellis Cay was launched with great fanfare, before stumbling with hints of corruption and then the fall out from global recession. As a result, the grand vision was never completed. Instead, the island is scattered with pristine but empty concrete shells of the villas designed by Piero Lissoni and the husks of a Mandarin Oriental, also by Lissoni. Proposed designs by Shigeru Ban, David Chipperfield, Carl Ettensperger, Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma and Chad Oppenheim were never started. Today the entire site is up for sale via Sotheby’s. $45m gets you ‘200 acres (87% of the island’s freehold acreage) and partially completed residences and minimal infrastructure listed at a fraction of the original invested value.’

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