Architects: Gracia Studio
Location: Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Sandra Muñoz
Located in the town where the hotel California sits. One hour south of La Paz Baja California Sur. There is a small magical town called Todos Santos. In witch our client had a vision of developing this 50,000 square foot lot and designing two houses, one for beach house rental and the other one as a vacation home.
The town itself is a place to enjoy nature, enjoy the traditions of a typical Mexican calmed town and of course the good food of the well known restaurants as the Café Santa Fe.
The challenge for this project was mainly in how to approach not only the design part of the project but the technical difficulties and the cost efficiency of the project, the lack of good labor and the high cost involved in the construction materials give us no other option then conceptualizing the design into a project where everything that was build and all the labor that it will be required will need to be LOCAL. This way we created a platform of working people that needed to be trained and supervised by part of our team and the other constraint is that we had to utilize only materials that you can buy in the small “pueblo” with only two hardware stores.
So that’s how everything started, in 2006 we started by defining the final budget as the main goal and the design had to be implicit in the final design of the house.
The project consists of two equal houses, in which each of them had to be private and at the same time keep the ocean views. To accomplish that we designed a one story house that allow to keep the 180degree ocean view for both of the houses and creating an indoor-outdoor area as the heart of the house.
The house itself consist in two basic materials one to be the exposed concrete walls that matches the existing color of the sand and the second one to be the “talavera” tile considered a typical material in México since the Spanish conquest.
With a total square footage of 3,400 the house consists of 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms and the main area to be the kitchen dining and living to be opened to the pool and terrace. Since the most important for us as the architect was to create a place where people can enjoy company of friends and family and at the same time enjoy nature and get to the basics of life. At the end we believe that the most important things in life are not material so we materialize our beliefs.