Zamel House / Kontrast Arquitectura

© Fabian Lasala Guevara

Architects: Kontrast Arquitectura
Location: La Bocana, Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca,
Project Architects: Jorge Herrera Martinez
Collaborators: José Iván Ramírez Guerra, Mariano Santana Ramírez, Irasema Gómez Toledo, Gabino Muñoz, Patricia Vázquez, Lori Zamel
Investor: Mark & Lori Zamel
Contractors: Alfonso Chávez Franco
Land Area: 193.75 sqm
Project Area: 272.25 sqm
Budget: USD$ 290,000.00
Project Year: 2007-2008
Photographs: Fabian Lasala Guevara

first floor plan
second floor plan

This home was designed for a couple from Los Angeles who love the beach and natural beauty of Huatulco. He lives to surf and she has a passion for architecture. The house boasts a superior location on the beach directly in front of a surf break, with a spectacular view of the beach, rocks, and nearby river mouth. The home’s open spaces create the frame for the magnificent setting and allow the ocean breezes to keep it cool during the tropical days in Huatulco. The challenge was to design a house that allowed views of the ocean from all the main spaces on a site only 12 meters wide. The first decision was to raise the house above the level of the beach to create privacy and safety from the ocean, but still have easy access to the beach. This was accomplished by a stair way on the side of pool. The house is built on a flag lot, thus the main entrance leads you down the driveway to a oversized, hand tooled solid wood door, that opens effortlessly on its pivot hinge into a new world of long wide stairs flanked by lush tropical plants leading to a reflecting pond complete with water fall and planked bridge for your final approach into the house. This passage brings you to a place that shakes your senses and promotes you connection with nature. You are captured by a desire to relax and enjoy.

© Fabian Lasala Guevara

You have arrived in the “great room”, the full width of the home, open entirely to the infinity pool overflowing “into” the ocean, complete with a chief’s kitchen and dining alfresco in the pool side pergola, you’ll want to never leave. The grassy palm tree path leads to the sun deck on the edge of the property over hanging the beach. There is also a full bath, with polished cement counter tops, glass tile and a large shower. The first floor is completed by a den/guest bedroom.

© Fabian Lasala Guevara
© Fabian Lasala Guevara

The stairs rise to an open-air balcony which leads to the 2nd guest bedroom suite and the master bedroom suite. The master has ceiling to floor glass across the entire front for the house. The large master bath boasts an outdoor shower for two and a vanity made from drift wood collected on the beach. The suite is completed by a walk in closet and ocean view office.

Cite: "Zamel House / Kontrast Arquitectura" 02 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • the_Dude

    Great site! Fantastic views…
    The pool relationship with interiors is very grand and the decking onto the beach looks awesome, however, going through bathrooms and toilets to get to bedrooms seems a completely bizarre concept in my opinion.
    The “glass fenced” toilet in Master Bath. looks a little odd to me too.
    But overall a pleasant place to hang out.

    • Jorge Herrera

      You´re right, but there was no more space to do things, the actual piece of land to work with was 139sqm, so I had to give preference to the main areas. Thanks for your comments!!

    • Lori Zamel

      The “glass fence” allows you to sit in privacy and look at the view all the way down the beach to river mouth. Come and visit and you’ll understand.

  • up_today_arch

    Beautiful location, very nice house and very professional solution for the plan…

  • PaPiPa

    Nice house, and nice decoration details. But I dont like the idea of entering the bedrooms through the bathroom.

  • neko

    nice house / nice location

    i’m a little skeptical of the budget ($290,000) for a 3000 sq.ft house of that quality.

    incredible value if true.

  • pietro g

    walking through a bathroom to get to a bedroom??? a little odd