Text description provided by the architects. Located in a humid tropical climate on the shores of Bacalar Lake in Mexico, the architectural proposition of this vacation home maintains the conservation of the natural environment as its primary focus and uses bioclimatic architectural principles to engage with its habitat.
Benefiting from the steep slope, the project is fragmented into small modules, consciously integrated with the natural terrain and maximizing lake views. The layout is over stepped levels, making it possible to limit the build footprint to 5% of the land and retain 95% of green or permeable area.
On arrival, a community or social area blends into the surrounding jungle and represents the start of a welcome pathway leading to six rooms designed as independent units. Oriented towards the prevailing winds, the front and back façade utilize a wall-louver treatment to guarantee cross ventilation. The A-frame design extends the walls into the roof, using zacate k’oxolaak grass, a sustainably grown and locally sourced material and natural thermal insulator, as the main building skin. Low maintenance materials and regional resources were prioritized during procurement to ensure an ecofriendly symbiosis with the surroundings.
The six meter high roof isolates the living space from heat. The louver openings in the apex create a chimney effect, achieving cooler interiors as hot air rises. The 60º roof inclination results in 60% to 90% lower heat gain by radiation than a flat roof. Its design also leans forward to prevent direct radiation on the south façade, while still permitting diffused natural light and generous lake views.
As part of the conservation commitment, all existing trees were preserved and the regeneration of endemicvegetation was central to recover from previous anthropogenic activities that had affected the area. The project produces its own electricity and recycles all wastewater. The construction method on pilotis conserves the connectivity of ecosystems through the establishment of biological corridors, as well as a natural course for rainwater runoff, limiting erosion. The result is a permeable architecture in fluid conversation with the senses, the land, the air and the water that surrounds it.