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DJ Diplo’s Jamaican home

Surrounded by lush tropical forests, DJ Diplo’s Jamaican home not only champions contemporary inside-outside living but also boldly celebrates the island and its people.

Characterised by a raw concrete facade, the multistorey home with its bold volumes and interwoven planes, consists of several open-plan levels and subsidiary structures connected by open-air bridges, trellises, and breezeways.

A rhythmic interplay of the manmade and natural, the Grammy-winning celebrity DJ and producer’s home is a creative extension of his musical pursuits, offering an easy rhythm for relaxed living.

“For a little island, this country has had such a powerful cultural impact around the world. There’s magic here,” the musician says, explaining what drove him to buy the piece of land more than 10 years ago. 

“It was a crazy place to build,” he now confesses, citing issues with construction, power, and access to the plot. “This project was all about patience. There were so many ways that it could have failed, but we kept finding solutions. I thought that, if nothing else, at least I own a bunch of banana trees.”

To bring his Edenic dream to life, Diplo hired architect Lauren Crahan and architectural designer Gia Wolf of Freecell Architecture – a firm known for its experimental investigations of volumetric relationships and material tectonics. While Sara Nataf, his creative director, and Katelyn Hinden, his assistant, were tasked with outfitting the house.

“I had these four awesome women controlling my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They get shit done.”

Commenting on the project, Crahan says: “The forest was a treasure chest, with hills, lowlands, grottoes, all manner of trees, and a variety of microclimates. A lot of our work was unpacking it and figuring out how to make connections between the landscape elements.”

“We found a nice intersection of interest in the work of people like Geoffrey Bawa, Oscar Niemeyer, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and Roberto Burle Marx. Ultimately, we decided that concrete was a natural choice to think about this building. Cast concrete allowed us to make bold, simple volumes that can be in dialogue with the jungle,” 

Described by Nataf as “a “heavenly stoner palace, where every nook and corner is meant to be a place where you can get inspired and create, or simply chill and contemplate,” the result is a relaxed setting yet utterly stylish setting where family and friends can gather to create or simply unwind.

“One of the most inspirational things about this place is just hanging out by the banana trees by the pond with the turtles. There are stories and wonders everywhere, not just the house and the interiors,” says Diplo.

“In the middle of the night, you’re surrounded by the soundtrack of Jamaica—a million cicadas and birds and crickets and always dancehall beats drifting in from miles away. It’s what I love about Jamaica, the sounds of the ocean, rivers, animals, buses, and chaos. We’re so high up we only hear it as a kind of soothing ambience. It feels like my medium.”


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