The project consists of designing an 18 apartment block for holiday purposes for a developing agency located in Aldea Zamá, in southern Tulum, México. The site is characterized by tropical vegetation and a soft ground, it is located some hundred meters from the main beachfront. The vegetation includes native bushes and tall palm-trees, most of them needing to be preserved. An all-around view of a wild garden-like vegetation can be seen on the main floor, and from the upper levels the tree canopy and ocean views are visible.
The scheme was to place the building-block in the middle of the site in order to achieve the most privacy from neighbors and future constructions and with the idea of generating an exterior private space for each of the apartment units, we arranged a set of six separate one-story apartments on the ground floor, each with private access to its own garden. The other 12 units were arranged into two-story living spaces, private areas on the second and public on the third level. A dialouge from the third to the rooftop provides each of the apartments a private exterior space with the sweeping views of the jungle.
The result is a reduced number of square meters in circulation spaces, while retaining the architectural language as result of the scheme. The ground floor, along with the staircases, service units and bathrooms, are mostly enclosed to the street and completely open to their gardens. The second level is the most enclosed within both facades where the private areas of the duplex are located. The third level is a semi-open space with wooden louvers on the facades to protect the rooms from rains and strong winds. The public areas of the duplexes and their relationships to the rooftops are defined by wooden frames.
Leaving nature as the protagonist, the architecture is minimal and neutral, having having only 3 natural materials, wood, washed concrete, and chukum.
The chukum tree is a semi-hardwood thorny tree found throughout the Yucatan peninsula, used also for dying textiles and tanning leather. To create chukum stucco, bark from the tree is boiled twice and then mixed with cement, after which it can be used for finishing concrete walls or even swimming pools. The chukum bark also naturally gives the stucco its earthy, natural color, creating a warm, rustic atmosphere typical of the Yucatan region.