Bermuda’s natural assets – pink-sand beaches, turquoise waters, lush greenery – are a visual treasure. But the island's man-made features are equally fascinating.
Case in point: Bermuda’s unique homes, which have been rightly recognised as the island’s only indigenous art form – you’ll hear it referred to as Bermuda’s vernacular architecture.
From function to form, here are just a few things that make Bermudian homes true originals.
Roofs with a Purpose
Along with the gorgeous shoreline, one of the first things you’ll notice as you fly into Bermuda are the brilliant white rooftops. They’re not just for show; these terraced limestone roofs have a very important purpose – namely, to collect the island's water supply.
Pipes run from the specially slated rooftops through the walls of the houses, releasing rainwater into tanks. More than half of Bermuda’s total freshwater consumption comes from rainwater, with additional freshwater collected from under the ground’s surface. This smart, eco-conscious solution helps minimise the amount of water Bermuda needs to import. An added bonus: The white roofs keep homes cooler during the summer.
Those Incredible Colours
The dazzling hues of the island’s vernacular architecture have become world famous. The pastel yellow, green, blue, pink and peach facades are like a watercolour painting come to life.
This vibrant colour palette dates back to the 17th century and is a perfect reflection of Bermudians’ positive outlook on life. How can you feel anything but good when you’re looking at an ever-present rainbow of colours?
The pastel yellow, green, blue, pink and peach facades are like a watercolour painting come to life.
Built to Last
Many local homes are constructed using thick slabs of Bermuda limestone, the kind of material that can withstand the harshest of elements. During colonial times, the island’s hardy limestone was exported to new settlements in neighbouring lands. Recent excavations have found that Bermuda limestone was laid as the foundation for many of Charleston, South Carolina’s historic buildings and fortifications.
Bermuda is a very welcoming place – it’s obvious even in the island’s architecture. Many homes here have stairways leading to their front doors, the sides of which flare out like a pair of outstretched arms. As a result, these stairs are known as “welcoming arms.”
Historic Homes to Visit
Interested in visiting some of Bermuda’s most famous homes? Go historic house hopping at one of the many historic Bermudian homes that have been preserved and are now open to the public.
Also check out the quintessential Bermuda homes conserved by the Bermuda National Trust, shown on the map below: