Villa Pelícanos, an existing residential complex dating back to the 80s nestled in the tropical landscape of the west coast of Mexico, has recently been expanded and revived by MAIN OFFICE, based in Mexico and Sweden
Located in Sayulita, a seaside resort that is a popular destination for health, wellness and surfing retreats, the project consists of a series of individual dwellings like pavilions descending a slope facing the Pacific Ocean.
Nestled in the jungle, the new tourist complex, surrounded by lush greenery and featuring its own private beach, can accommodate up to 20 guests and exudes the sweet atmosphere of a yoga retreat.
The architects have redesigned eight villas and a common area at the top of the hill comprising a shared kitchen, dining room and swimming pool, preserving references to African aesthetics, reflecting the legacy of the previous owner of the resort, originally from South Africa. Consequently, the project eclectically combines Mexican elements and an African atmosphere.
While preserving the original atmosphere and palapa roofs externally, the architects worked to create contextual interiors that address the pathologies suffered by the original structure due to its direct exposure to the tropical sun and ocean breeze, leaving the least possible environmental impact.
The materials used for the restoration all come from local resources. For the warm interior elements such as partitions, cabinet doors and furniture, entirely designed by MAIN OFFICE, the architects chose the indigenous Parota wood, resistant to humidity and salinity. The previously tinted interior walls are purposely painted white, complementing the interior components and serving as a neutral backdrop that does not detract from the stunning view. New fixed elements, including bed frames, sinks and bathtubs, are made of cast-in-place concrete, which blends with the warm touch of local Parota wood, creating an unusual, rustic and welcoming environment.
The original wooden doors and windows have been restored and improved and revolutionized with a new Venetian terrazzo floor and transformed into simple interstitial spaces that expand the interiors by letting in the jungle.
Therefore, the new spatial interventions in the villas celebrate the natural environment of the site. An outdoor shower defined by stones that create a secluded wall opens up towards the sky and the treetops, an outdoor bathtub in cast-in-place concrete overlooking the Pacific Ocean allows guests to immerse themselves in nature. Smaller outdoor showers and terraces interact with the jungle landscape and the sea horizon.
A key feature located at the bottom of the slope, it is the yoga platform that takes the shape of a perfect semicircle, nestled between the wooded banks. The cut in the landscape is enhanced by the retaining wall built ad hoc in local stone. The floor is made of durable Cumaru wood, naturally resistant to wear and harsh climates. Adjacent to the platform, stone planters house a majestic Papelillo tree that frames idyllic views of the Pacific Ocean, helping to create the perfect place to exercise and enjoy the therapeutic and relaxing power of nature.
Project name: Villa Pelìcanos Sayulita
Architecture Office: MAIN OFFICE (Sima Agisheva, Dante Borgo, Isabella Eriksson)
Project team: Angie Guzmán, Paulina Castro, Mave Zurita, Luis Gordian, Brenda Cibrian, Pablo Alemán
Furniture design: MAIN OFFICE
Location: Nayarit, Mexico
Conclusion year: October 2020
Contractor: Terraza Construcciones, Sayulita (Mexico)
Build Area (m2): 340 m2
Photographer: © Rafael Gamo