Riparia Architecture Studio has completed an apartment building in a Mexican resort town that consists of three volumes, one of which has a large screen and "opens like a fan towards the jungle".
The Kokonut building is located in Akumal, a coastal town in the Yucatán Peninsula. It sits within the state of Quintana Roo and is about 30 kilometres north of Tulum.
Riparia Architecture Studio, based in Mexico City, was tasked with designing an apartment building for a 1,019-square-metre, irregularly shaped site that is dotted with trees.
In response to the site's geometry and other constraints, the firm conceived a multi-storey building comprising three volumes – a central, trapezoidal mass that is flanked by two rectangular structures. The building totals 1,427 square metres.
"The two side volumes are symmetrical, and the central one opens like a fan towards the jungle," the architects said.
The building is fronted by a parking area with permeable paving, enabling rainwater to infiltrate the soil below. A slender bridge connects the parking lot to the central volume.
Concrete panels and concrete blocks were used to form the building's exterior walls.
"A strict logic was used for material placement, using only one direction for concrete and the other for cinder block – giving each hierarchy and purity," the team said.
Rather than adding a finish, the materials were left untouched for aesthetic purposes and to reduce maintenance needs.
The street-facing side of the building is largely opaque in order to provide privacy. On the rear facades, long balconies offer tenants the chance to relax outdoors and take in the scenery.
To soften the building's overall appearance, the team lined a stairwell with a lattice-like screen made of blocks.
"This at night is intended to function as a lamp, illuminated with warm light," the team said.
The building's unconventional layout enabled every unit to have its own corridor. Moreover, each apartment has two entry doors off the corridor: one leading into the main living area, and the other leading into a guest bedroom.
The separate doors enable the owner to rent out a portion of the unit as a hotel room.
"The central unit, having the room facing the jungle, has a wooden lattice door to control access to the terrace, in case the second bedroom gets rented," the team said.
On the lowest level of the building, the team created a long, rectangular swimming pool and adjacent terrace. Other amenities were placed at the roof garden level.
Located below the parking lot is a mechanical room, which includes tanks and other equipment needed to store and purify rainwater.
The state of Quintana Roo is known for its sandy beaches, Mayan ruins and oceanfront resorts. Other projects there include BAI-HA, an 18-apartment holiday resort in Tulum that was designed by PPAA.
The photography is by Tamara Uribe.
Architecture: Riparia Architecture Studio
Project team: Laurent Herbiet, Giordana Rojas, Andrés Burguete, Fernanda Romero y Ana Benítez
Structural design: Enrique Minchaca
Developer: TAO México
Rainwater harvesting design: Sistemas Pluviales SPL
Mediterranean influences, warm wood tones and vintage objects are found throughout this Los Angeles hotel with interiors by Home Studios.
Located in the southern neighbourhood of West Adams, Alsace LA occupies a purpose-built property designed by NMDA Architects that houses 48 guest rooms over 22,500 square feet (2,090 square metres).
Brooklyn-based Home Studios looked to the architectural variety of the historic surrounding area, and the similarities in climate and lifestyle between Southern California and the Mediterranean, as starting points for the interiors.
Guests arrive at a courtyard area paved with terracotta tiles, surrounded by rockery gardens and adjacent to a shaded outdoor seating area.
The entrance is located beside a protruding section of the building that lifts off the ground and angles upward, following the staircase inside.
Entered under a portico, the lobby is filled with caramel-toned materials and furniture – a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces.
Tiled doorways, soft cove lighting, and eclectic homeware by local designers all add to the ambience.
Behind the custom-made, white-oak reception desk is a site-specific mural hand-painted onto glazed tiles by LA artist Lukas Geronimas Giniotis, whose work is found across the hotel.
"Like scenes from mythology, each of Giniotis' tile motifs hint at the use of space throughout the hotel's common areas: divers near the exit to the pool, figures playing near the gym, and bodies ascending stairs," said the Home Studios team.
Oak is also used for the lobby floors, and to form a wall-to-ceiling feature in a niche that acts as a lounge.
Across the courtyard is a light and airy meeting room, where a custom conference table and Gubi Stay lounge chairs sit on handwoven Moroccan rugs.
Each 230-square-foot guest room features custom designs by Home Studios, including upholstered headboard panels, rattan and wood wardrobes, and sculptural brass hooks.
Larger suites enjoy private balconies or terraces, as well as custom dining tables and bespoke pull-out sofas.
"With an emphasis on the unexpected, the hotel is truly a one-of-a-kind space, made culturally relevant with contemporary art, photography, and playful design details that incorporate subtle references to European antiquity by way of local craft," said Home Studios.
Home Studios was founded in 2009 by Oliver Haslegrave and has since racked up a portfolio of hospitality projects across the US.
The team recently completed a restaurant in a former Wisconsin railway station, and previously designed a cinematic cocktail bar in West Hollywood.
The photography is by Andrew and Gemma Ingalls.
Client: CIM Development
Architecture: NMDA Architects
Interior design, styling: Home Studios