Located in Sayulita, a laid back surfers’ town on the West coast of Mexico, this beachfront residence was recently renovated by Mexico and Sweden-based architectural practice MAIN OFFICE into a “small-contained village” that is both complemented and complimented by the lush, tropical surroundings and the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Built in the 1950s on the top of a steep incline among palm and almond trees, plantains and ferns, the original two-storey building was in dire need of renovation due to humidity problems and lack of maintenance. The architects thoroughly redesigned the existing structure adding a new guesthouse down the slope and a series of concrete platforms, walkways and gardens that connect all the levels by following the site’s topography. Crucially, the design’s stepped configuration ensures that all indoor and outdoor spaces enjoy uninterrupted views of the ocean.
On the lower level of the main residence an open-plan living and dining space opens up to a pool area, seamlessly connected through folding patio doors, while an external staircase leads up to a balcony where the master bedroom is accessed from. Great care has been taken not to disturb the site’s existing trees as seen by the design of the staircase which creates a small courtyard in order to accommodate a majestically tall tree that juts out above the rooftops. The guest house, which is reached by another flight of stairs on your way to the beach level, enjoys privacy and expansive ocean views while its rooftop, accessible from the living areas above, functions as an additional terrace.
Locally sourced wood and cement predominate in both the exterior and interior design which relies on a modernist, no-frills vocabulary of clean lines and simple rectilinear forms. Cement walls are finished with white stucco whereas floors and in-built furniture are rendered in polished concrete, the most stunning of which is a handcrafted, ocean-facing bathtub, built in-situ in the master bedroom.
The concrete surfaces are perfectly complemented by indigenous Parota wood used generously throughout the house for cupboards, closets, doors and window frames as well as free standing furniture. This type of wood was chosen not just for its resistance to humidity, salinity and strong sunlight, but also for its sumptuous warmth and organic richness that elegantly mirrors the tropical landscape outside, the beauty of which this residence is built around.