Location / North of San Jose del Cabo,B.C.S.,Mexico
Lot Size / 78 hectares, development proposed for 330hectares
Client / Entre Dos Mares
Entre Dos Mares is an environmental consultancy in LaPaz, B.C.S. that focuses on environmental impact studies for developments inthe La Paz and Cabo area. Theconsultancy being interested in venturing into master planning, asked me topropose a solution to a client in possession of two land divisions along thesame coast (the land divisions being 78 and 38 hectares in size).
The location had potential strategic advantage forcreating a new development. Its distance from San Jose del Cabo was far enough to beisolated from the commercial tourist corridor, allowing the development to growand hopefully acquire adjacent land; yet it was close enough to be incorporatedin the future into the corridor which had already begun to grow north of SanJose del Cabo with the developmentof Puerto los Cabos.
Asuccessful community development requires recreational spaces in which tointeract. Los Cabos is known for itsgolf courses, yet given the limited fractioned land available for the firststage of development, a golf course wasn't an option. However the elongatedportion of the terrain has steep areas which are not recommendable forconstruction; these hills could be attractive for horseback riding. Toincorporate equestrian activities into the concept of offering innovation andluxury it was necessary not only to propose equestrian routes, but thepossibility to incorporate these into a polo club through the acquisition ofadjacent land. A polo club would be a new development for the Los Cabos
The street proposed is elevated with two sunken sidelanes for golf cart and bicycle traffic made of permeable pavement to allowwater filtration. Protecting these side lanes are rows of olive trees whichobscure the vision to the street from the houses and provide shade. The garageentrance for the houses would be marked by arches with bougainvilleas, thiswill maintain the continuity between houses and accentuate the lines of olivetrees. These arches will also provide a consistent location for the street nameand number, and will shelter the recycling bins area and utility meters.
A development's architecture is a decisive factorin creating an identity for a project. My answer was an eclectic architecturecombining the arches, stone and brick barrel vaults of the Mexican haciendas;and the window-walls, poured concrete and slick clean lines of theinternational style. This combination would offer passive cooling systemsthrough the thermal mass and barrel vaults of the hacienda architecture and thedeep awnings of the modern architecture. Its incorporation of the window wallwould take advantage of the views. The use of natural materials wouldincorporate the buildings into the landscape.
This pairingcould create a "Mexican" yet original identity for the developmentreferencing the Case Study Houses of California (where a large part of thetourism in the Los Cabos area comes from) andthe fusion of that culture with the Mexican fantasy they come looking for. Inshort, it will be a strong, elegant, and sober frame for the luxurious andcustomized lifestyle of the development.
To represent thisconcept I developed the design for a model home. The swimming pool interruptsthe interior with a lap lane, while the barrel vaulted ceiling is continuousthroughout. I made the main living area deep to keep it away from directsunlight and placed windows at the base of the vaulted ceiling to provideindirect illumination.