Project NameVilla Pelícanos
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Taking its name from the pelicans that fly overhead, Villa Pelícanos couldn’t be more ideally located for getting away from it all, nestled as it is among tropical vegetation on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Sayulita, a Mexican beach town that is popular for its health, wellness and surfing retreats. Under the management of new owners, and having undergone a thorough renovation by Mexico and Sweden-based studio MAIN OFFICE, the secluded holiday complex finally does justice to its picturesque setting. The architects have thoughtfully and sustainably redesigned and expanded the pavilion-like villas which date back to the 1980s, reviving the vernacular aesthetic of the existing structures with contemporary sophistication, and enhancing the guest experience by seamlessly interweaving interiors and exteriors. With its own private beach and a new yoga platform offering idyllic ocean views, the revamped retreat is the true definition of a tropical getaway.
Accommodating up to 20 guests, the retreat comprises eight individual dwellings, whose safari-lodge-like design references the heritage of the resort’s previous owner, originally from South Africa, and a common area at the top of the hill that includes a living room pavilion, shared kitchen and dining pavilion, and swimming pool. The architects have preserved the existing structures, including the thatched roofs or 'palapas' which are widely used in the region as they are an inexpensive and efficient way to cool down the interiors, concentrating instead on the redesign of the interiors which had been worn out by the tropical sun and ocean breeze.
The interior design was guided by three goals: to blur the boundaries between inside and outside while maintaining a homey feeling, tone down the original colour palette to allow the views to take centre stage, and minimize the environmental impact. The latter is attested by the restoration of the original wooden doors and windows along with the use of local materials such as Parota wood, an indigenous species resistant to humidity and salinity used for new elements such as room dividers, closet doors and furniture, all custom designed by MAIN OFFICE. In combination with the earthy hues of the cement floors, the natural wood finishes imbue the interiors with warmth as well as echo the natural landscape outside. At the same time, the white paint that has replaced the formerly coloured interior walls creates a neutral backdrop to enjoy the ocean vistas.
The architects have reserved their boldest interventions for the bathrooms. Open-air showers have been conceived as an intimate space where guests can retreat under the blue sky and lush treetops, while outdoor concrete bathtubs cast on-site, allow guests to merge into nature and enjoy magical views of the Pacific Ocean. The same ambience and ocean vistas can be experienced at the new yoga platform, a semi-circular terrace immersed in the jungle above the beach. Decked in durable Cumaru wood and hugged by a retaining wall constructed ad-hoc in local stone, the platform is a great spot to exercise and enjoy the therapeutic power of nature in the shade of a majestic Papelillo tree. Can you possibly think of a better place to fly to when the pandemic is all over?