“I wanted to create a more natural experience, by using textures, colours and patterns, while allowing the views to be the primary focus.”

Melissa von Frankenberg

Soleil, the French word for sun, is more than just the name of this modern resort residential community located on the water in Freeport in Montego Bay. It is the very essence of its design. As though Helios himself had designed it, the building’s architecture captures sunlight while simultaneously giving it the freedom to do what it does naturally – bring rooms to life by casting shadows, creating soft glows and reflections that move together in a beautifully synchronized dance. The result is an authentic interpretation of Caribbean life that is both sophisticated and welcoming.

Soleil’s interior designer, Christine Azan, was purposeful in her approach to every detail of the building’s communal and private spaces. Manipulation of colour and texture is a staple in her creative approach, and Soleil is no different. Starting from the ground up, she designed with a vision for world-class luxe living that integrates both functionality and beauty. She chose Italian Calacatta Gold marble for the ground floor lobby because of its polished elegance and used a mixture of both matte and smooth tiles to show different illuminations and space separations. It is the canvas on which all else sits.

As you move from the lobby and concierge desk into the building’s “hub,” the layers of texture provided by the interior furnishings draw you in. Azan did this purposefully, not only as an expression of her own creative aesthetic, but also to ‘keep it real’ by using furniture and wall fixtures that invite people to sit, touch and simply be. The rooms are not meant to be pretentious or intimidating; instead they imbue an edginess and whimsy that is imperfectly perfect – a measured balance of light and dark. Clean lines and polished surfaces act as a backdrop to the strategically placed mixed metal fixtures, curved sofas, and grainy wood pieces.

“We wanted Soleil to be a high-end development that could be appreciated by real estate enthusiasts from around the globe,” explained Azan. “However, it’s more experiential than materialistic, and part of that experience is feeling like you’re in Jamaica. In traditional tropical motifs that would mean adding the cliché palm tree on cushion covers or floral prints with hibiscus flowers and doctor birds. I wanted to create a more natural experience, by using textures, colours and patterns, while allowing the views to be the primary focus. This is especially true at sunrise and sunset when the explosion of colours in the sky takes the stage.”

Large glass windows and doors maintain Azan’s commitment to incorporating an organic feel. They bring the natural exterior – ocean waves, distant mountain ridges, swaying palms – into the interior. Inside, there are expressive nods to nature, such as a leafy green living wall and petrified wood benches. A commissioned painting by artist, PJ Stewart, is an abstract depiction of the sun on the water. Its painted oranges, golds, pinks, purples and blues of the North Coast sunset make the perfect pop against black suede walls (finished by