Tropaco Resort
Project Title
Tropaco Resort
Alternate Titles
Habitat St. Thomas
A spectacular rocky peninsula on the north coast of St. Thomas provided the 12-acre site for this proposed development of 180 condominium units, along with a hotel and other related recreation and convention facilities, to be added in stages.

Inspired by the magnificent natural growth of the area and steeply sloped terrain, the design aims for minimal site disturbance. Octagonal modules containing bathrooms, kitchens and services stack vertically to become support columns based on the ground rock. Larger modules containing living spaces are suspended from the core columns, their windows shaded and ventilated with moveable overhanging shutters. At the base of each column, water is collected from the roof.

The client desired a resort that would function equally well as clustered private family dwellings and a guest hotel, so that homeowners could rent their units for part of the year. Thus, a building system was designed in which a group of four units with a central glazed courtyard could form either a three-bedroom house or four separate guest rooms around a central public courtyard.

The modules were to be prefabricated in 3-inch-thick, precast lightweight concrete at a plant in Puerto Rico, shipped by barge, then erected on the site by helicopter or mobile crane.

Images on this page: 1 Aerial view of model; 2 Photomontage of model in site; 3 Site plan; 4 Axonometric of unit cluster; typical unit plans; 5 Exploded axonometric of precast components

Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands

between 1968 and 1969
Completion Date
Client: Armour Enterprises

Safdie Architects
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