by Jerry ElengicalJun 10, 2021
A new wave of Mexican architecture has found its definition at the turn of this decade. Along with several culturally rich developing countries on a search for a definitive architectural statement or style, Mexico is finding its own critical regionalism in a unique and exciting combination of several factors, including but not limited to, the country’s booming travel economy, the extensive climatic considerations for building in the tropics, and an inherently local choice of material for construction, especially along the coasts. Among several notable works aligning with the same spheres, the Punta Majahua by Zihuatanejo based Zozaya Arquitectos is a championing development.
The luxury beachfront residential development finds its footing on a hectare of peninsular land, located in a remote village with a population just north of 500, according to the last census conducted more than a decade ago. From a tourist’s point of view, or of the ever migrating digital nomad looking for remote working destinations, this is a location that is as enticing as it is embracing. The development then seeks to draw immense and suitable advantage from the land it is on and its natural morphology, with the architects choosing to develop the Punta Majahua as close to the beach as possible. While the sweeping ocean views are canonical here, the buildings in the complex are also oriented to the north, deemed ideal for beaches in order to keep the units sufficiently cooled.
‘Punta’ in Spanish literally translates to a tip, implying the sharp, beaked end of the peninsula the site is located on. The masterplan of the project has six interconnected structures in a chained manner, curving across the tip. Over three floors each, and five to eight residences, the development delivers a total of 39 units with varying levels of occupant luxury and facilities. Along with the fully-equipped individual villas, common amenities on the grounds include a covered garage area, paddle court, a family swimming pool with a semi Olympic lap lane, an administrative office, a gym, staffing and service area, orchards for the resident’s consumption, and green areas. At the ground level, the residences open up to semi-private gardens with exclusive exits to the beach, while the upper units dwell on expansive, panoramic ocean views towards the sea, and those of the Sierra Madre on the back.
Apart from the facilities, however, what outlines this project is its swiveling form, its walls curving inwards and outwards like a flower’s petals, enclosing the sanctum of a home within. The curves are especially pronounced on the side of the structure’s frontage, opposite to the beach, and on the ground floor, where the curves are the façade. The curvilinear approach eliminates typicality that is common for residential arrangements such as this one, and gives each of the homes a unique form, resolving spaces in a way more integrally focussed on harnessing views, natural light inside homes, and cross ventilation. The materials used inside individual homes, from the structure itself to the smallest piece of ornamentation, are a revelation in context, reflective of a traditional Zihuantanejo coastal style. Masonry walls and bamboo for the structure, dry palm branches for the gazebos and palapas, river stones for the ornamentation of rugs, baseboards in the interiors, bamboo carpentry, and bush hammered marble floors along with parota wood outline the villas’ diverse material palette. What is realised here is a rare common ground between a contemporary outlook and appeal, along with a vernacular, functional style of architecture.
Owing to a scarcity of water in the region, underlining the national crisis as well, the landscaping of the project was composed with a regenerative approach, based on an analysis and understanding of the local ecosystem. Using regional vegetation with low water consumption, the shrubbery used is capable of withstanding the strong ocean breeze and salinity. The planting of local fruit trees and the use of turf and gravel in various hardscaped areas across the site further aids in reduced water consumption. Alongside a residual water treatment plant on site, the irrigation system also recycles grey water to feed the plants on site.
The Punta Mahajua serves as a landmark development for the Troncones community and village, a magnet for the international tourist and surfing community owing to its excellent current and waves, and the offer of an alternate, more peaceful lifestyle. The idea for the place dwells on an alignment of its architecture and its patrons with the coasts of the Mexican Pacific: rooted in context and culture, with a widely cosmopolitan allure, allowing them to sit back and experience a more natural, organic, harmonious vibration during their stay.
Name: Punta Majahua
Architects: Zozaya Arquitectos
Location: Troncones, Guerrero, Mexico
Área: 7,773 m2
Year of completion: 2021