Meraki Islands – click on any image for full size
Meraki Islands, on the homestead region of Felicitie Isle, is a group build by Nïc H Bour (NicBor) and Busta (BadboyHi). It is currently home to Etnia, the store operated by Mika Whitesong-Holloway (Mika Whitesong), and offers visitors a perfectly landscaped environment to explore and appreciate.
It was actually Busta’s involvement in the design which encouraged me to visit. He was responsible for the enchanting Yasminia, which Caitlyn and I visited in 2016 and 2017, so I was keen to discover what Meraki Islands had to offer.
Predominantly flat, the landscape has a wonderful wetland feel to it, water cutting channels through the northern side of the region, seemingly at random, trees and bushes offering shade. A single table of rock rises from the south-east corner of the region, a crown of silver birch trees on its top surrounding the walls of Etnia, reached by a single stepped footpath winding up the side of the platform.
A broad strip of land runs west from this, separating the wetlands on the north side of the region from the open waters south of it, before turning north to where a farmhouse sits slightly elevated above a flagged courtyard with a pair of houses on one side. Unfurnished, those look out across the wetlands, in the middle of which sits an out warehouse building, re-purposed as a simply furnished cosy spot.
The warehouse and houses aren’t the only structures; there is a second farmhouse on the south finger of land, while scattered around the water channels are old walls, a disused greenhouse, a folly and bridges offering routes over the water and between the many fingers of land between the narrow channels. One of these bridge leads eastwards to the neighbouring region, which at the time of my visit was still being designed – again by Busta, suggesting a reason to return for a future visit.
If this all sounds simple in design, it’s because it is – and in being so, it is also elegant and highly photogenic. There is a sense of serenity about the region which not only encourages exploration, but gives people plenty of reasons to stay. Scattered over the waters are rowing boats offering gently rocking places to sit and appreciate the setting, while the coastal and inland paths offer further places for couples to sit.
A further charm with the region is that it looks out over its neighbours to the west and north. This gives Meraki Islands a sense of place in the world – although be aware that the neighbouring regions are private homes and not open to the general public. There are other points of attraction as well such as the avenue of trees bent over the channel running around the foot of the south-eastern plateau.
In all, this is a veritable tour de force of region design. Simple yet elegant, subtle in touch. The measure of care taken with the build is exquisite, the presentation wholly natural from the cut of the waterways in the wetlands through the selection of the trees – particularly the weeping willows – to the dressing of things such as the steps up to the store.
Definitely not something to be missed.
- Meraki Islands (Felicite Isle, rated: Moderate)