Villa Architecture and Interior Design. Cancun Beach. We have completed, numerous Villa Architecture and Interior Design projects in California and Mexico. We completed this Villa in the Cancun Hotel Zone for a American business man and his family. They actually arrived in Cancun in the 1980’s grew their family and businesses there while keeping their USA residence in Texas. Sent the kids back to College, and welcomed the grandchildren in a new large home.
The Client an American pioneer and a partner in a local Hotel chain, has lived in Cancun with his family for over 30 years, his children grew up and moved back to the USA to go to College, and now the couple are Grandparents, they are leaders in the local business and cultural community, the “Locals”. They wanted a House to settled down and welcome their extended families. Now their grown up children expect a Home when visiting for the Holiday, so the House had to be quite large, and function somewhat like a private boutique hotel. For years the couple had collected magazines and photos of what they wanted their house to look like and had measured the rooms of their USA home in San Antonio Texas, to compare. They wanted a Palladian look with the warmth of a Mexican Hacienda by the Beach.
We did have a time and money goal so we had to work 3 shifts 24 hours a day. The local press was after me, what power, where from? People thought it was the outgoing President’s home as this was his beloved area. Nobody knew who the client was, only I did. It is not public knowledge either. When an Arab schick who travel there yearly wanted a place, they would call me so many people still think I own it …. maybe I do.
I’m passionate about the sea, the beach, the Ocean views, I guess it is my favorite place to work at. My old friend IE who introduced me to the Puerto Aventuras Yacht Club Penthouse client*, had become my agent for the region and connected me with two more potential clients to meet. Both with beautiful Beach lots to design homes in. One in the Hotel zone, and another in Puerto Juarez.
The Puerto Juarez preliminary went well, yet the client had no plans to build right away, paid me and didn’t call again.
The Hotel Zone project went a little slower. The Client was an American Hotel developer in the area, we started a friendship by making the process take time.
He first asked me to design his Dolphin Tour stores, which I did, then we started the hose Project, and stopped as they had to plan a daughter’s wedding. They would come back to me two years later, after I had completed Reba M. beach villa nearby and the Lagoon front Villa Arcadia in Isla Dorada. Among other things we were having a very successful practice in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean Riviera.
The project actually started at another lot of the same size, a few blocks away. We did the preliminary layouts and were ready to start, however the client wisely admitted, that for such a nice house the lot was not on the best Beach location, and that for other reasons the project had to be put on hold anyway.
Meantime other projects came by for us in Cancun, another Villa on the beach was done an important an American music Star Reba McEntire, mainly large private custom or bespoke residences, on the beach or waterfront at Isla Dorada. A year later the client came back, but the lot though on the beach was not the most desirable one.
Over a weekend of swimming together, having Pizzas and margaritas, we were driving by an old somewhat abandoned residential lot, belonging to one of the countries wealthiest families, and it had a for sale sign all rusted and covered with folliage. You could hardly read the realtors phone number, which I dialed. No one had enquired in sometime. They wanted 1.5 times, what we figured the value of the current lot was. Them not knowing that I negotiated for my client an excellent deal to maybe 1.1 times only and they made a deal. I got the Go!
When an important pair of local businessmen former clients and old friends asked me who was I developing, design-build the house for, I didn’t want to say (I had a Gentleman’s non disclosure agreement), I can’t tell you and hurt their feelings, so I just thought of a white briefly uttered Madonna. The rumor spread so fast a friend from Los Cabos heard it the next day, and local cab drivers could take you to see Madonna’s home under construction.
They wanted to proceed as fast as possible. I didn’t, I wanted to do the working drawings first, but Design-Build is the rule of the game when time is money. Immediately called my Structural and soils enginees, and we were digging and piling in a couple of weeks, while the permitting process was still taking place.
On left. After we had the lot cleaned. Looking at the beach from the end of the lot.Extra room for the pool; On right. Looking from the beach side towards the street. We started digging the lower ground floor and foundations. (Under construction from Golf course road.)
We had a deadline, and I take those very seriously. The process.
The Mexican Caribbean Riviera centers around Cancun at the South Eastern tip of Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula, surrounded to the North by Isla Mujeres, to the East Cozumel and down South the Mayan Riviera with destinations now extending about a 100 miles to Tulum. Within Cancun there is a Downtown and surrounding areas, and The Hotel Zone, and further areas. Our lot is one of the few Residential lots in the hotel zone and with a waterfront of its own. Walk to the beach!
Cancun has matured. A Resort New Town founded in the 70’s, now is one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean, and saturated with Hotels. Initially an exclusive resort turning to more volume markets later. A beach property in the Hotel Zone without a Hotel is very rare and exclusive.
So we went ahead again with the process. They wanted to build it ASAP however they didn’t like their lot as much. This is a very exclusive zone of 4 blocks with 20 houses the first built in the hotel zone 20 years before. There was a better lot but the owners were billionaires hard to reach. As my Spanish was better I volunteered to place the call. The sign had been there for years and the lot was a jungle. But it was better. So we bought the new lot!
Our non-disclosure agreement was pending no one knew who the client was. Was it another Star, they say Madonna. So, we bought the better new lot and started construction. The lot was almost the same as the original one about 80’ street front and Beach, by 160’ deep. So we quickly adapted the plans and started building.
We were on a building time schedule so there were 3 working shifts, 24 hrs. a day and we finished on time. A 4 level 20,000 sq.ft. Villa, with an 70’ long vanishing edge pool facing the ocean, and a Palladian Golf Course front with a terraced ocean side.
The New town is already in its second development phase, when some first generation homes in prime lots are being torn down to make way for more densified and updated homes with better specification. That is, most of the Residential prime lots on the beach were built earlier already 30+ years ago with Architecture that unfortunately had little merit or turns out to have the wrong land use, that is too small a house for a such valuable lot.
The lot is on the waterfront facing North with a view of Isla Mujeres, sits in the middle of Hotel Zones 1 and 2, at the Old Golf Course, and is only about 1/3 of an acre. With requirements for over 15,000 square feet, the solution called for a vertical, Town house like layout. The lot is also flat. The Mexican Caribbean is flat it has no hills so the Architecture doesn’t benefit from sea breeze like most of the Mexican Pacific does; hence Air Conditioned lifestyle is a must.
Full Turnkey services were provided. We participated in Planning, Real Estate, Permitting, Design and Construction followed by Interior Design, the clients were very happy got their keys and moved in.
The Street Entrance has a pair of wood doors and the right one has a door within a door like in the old Mexican Churches, through which you walk into an Interior Garden with fountains and Palm Trees. Stepping in and up the steps to the Interior Entrance the 10’ doors with a 3’ faux wood arch to extend the doors visually. And as you open the main entrance you immediately see the Ocean.
Arriving by boat is a wood pier and from the beach an arched entrance with steps to the pool area and into the Atrium, through a two level structural glass entrance at the Loggia
The house has 4 levels. A main level, a basement, and two additional bedroom levels. It also has a roof terrace, all with elevator access.
Raised half a level up from the street is the main level, with a foyer, Living, Dining, Kitchen, Family Room and library, and a 3 level Glass covered Atrium, outside is the covered loggia and the pool.
Above are two levels of bedrooms and at the top a Roof terrace reached by a Glass staircase, from which you get a good glance of the city.
A basement 1/2 level below ground, houses Systems including Automation, Air C., water purification and storage (ideal for weather and servicing access) housekeeping rooms a K. and B., laundry, home Theater, Gym and pool dressing rooms.
All the main rooms and bedrooms face the Ocean. The family room is raised above the kitchen, terracing down from it through the kitchen and into the breakfast room they all have a view. Most of the back wall of bedrooms and the living room are mirrored, so the Ocean view is overwhelming whichever direction you happen to be facing.
A 40ft high atrium splits the bulk of the House in two wings and allows the Sun to penetrate from the South to the Living areas of the main floor which because of the Ocean view face North with no direct sunlight.
The bedrooms in two levels open to the atrium as well, allowing natural light and visual communication with the public spaces of the house, hoping to add a sense of Village to the bedrooms. (now days you can get it in Playa del Carmen still a Village).
The Atrium height and the sun light brought in through it make the Interior of the house feel very much like outdoor space.
She requested it be as big as possible, so I managed to get a 60’ long pool, with a vanishing edge visually merging with the Ocean. This makes the Ocean look like it’s closer to the House. One of the grandmothers spent about 4 hours a day in the pool during her yearly 4-month stay.
A project requirement is used as a living area regularly to eat near the Barbeque and the Nautilus Fountain I designed under a stairway leading to the Master bedroom terrace.
It is difficult to do Design-build Architecture and then on top the interiors. I guess a reason is they might get tired of you, while on the other hand we love doing it because it becomes Turn-Key. We practically bought the lot as well.
It has His & Her Baths, as well as a terrace with a Spa. A vaulted ceiling and a mirrored back wall contribute to bring the Ocean view inside the house.
Two Junior Suites in the upper level are for longer stay guests. All the rooms and suites have their bathrooms (en suite), wet bars and walk-in closets. Myself when I’m invited.
The North View Elevation is terraced above the loggia on the main level, so the terraces of the two bedroom levels above are uncovered, to receive Sun, the bulk of the House facing North provides them with shading.
Two rooms form the library. The entrance or Main library itself and the studio where the desk is located providing it with Ocean view.
Mahogany was used throughout.
Secret bath behind the book shelve.
Palladio was at the top of Her list, having been an Art History major. Eventually she started to ask for more elements to reflect the character of the site, Mexico, her adopted country.
I studied Architecture in a Bauhaus influenced school, and most of my work is contemporary, minimalist and high-tech. I love Palladio and my trips to Europe have enriched my appreciation for historical Architecture. My schooling in Mexico with its rich colonial history also influenced me and wonderful trips throughout the country made me love haciendas and churches. The challenge was to look at photographs that the owners had collected and liked some of which I didn’t necessarily agreed with, but which served to understand what it was they were looking for.
They wanted “Classic”. I learned more about Italian Renaissance, Palm Beach, Mizner, and Mediterranean Villas, and I gave it a try. Symmetry and Proportion were the tools I used to compose the Elevations. I also wanted the building to look old. Like it had been there for years, inconsistent with Cancun short history, but precisely to break the ice, and allow for more things to happen there. Mission Style. Living in California for the last 20 years and having been raised in Mexico undoubtedly the Mission or Spanish Colonial has been an influence.
Villa on the Beach, has privacy and is protected against, tide, hurricanes and the Section through the building shows the raised pool. This is essential for waves protection, tide and hurricanes. As we had Design-Built other Villas on the Beach we realized this was an important issue. We raised the main level, creating a lower ground floor, to house equipment, home theater, home office, Gym, Cellar and Service quarters. The local realtors association praised us as an example, of how to do things well.
Also by raising the pool level you obtain privacy, that is people walking on the beach are not necessarily seen, nor do the see you as well.
Square Feet. Covered areas, includes loggia: Basement 385m2; Main Floor 489m2; second level 345m2; third level 265m2.
Materials. The windows. All the glass is Intelligent reducing the amount of UV rays 95%.
List of Fabricators and Suppliers. Enclosed.
Photography. Before and during construction photography available.
Waterfront Villa Design. Architecture, Interior & Landscape Design.
Waterfront Villa Design. First of all the style is Palladian-Contemporary, while it was designed for a star as a “Boutique Hotel”.
Therefore each suite includes a full multi use bathroom en suite, certainly with wet bar and counter and sleeper sofa. Furthermore also a walk in closet and terrace, and a separate independent key.
While Spanish Colonial Churches and Palaces of Mexico were an inspiration, similarly the street entrance where you walk into an Interior Garden with fountains and palm trees.
From the raised three level Foyer Atrium you immediately see the Ocean when opening the front door.
By boat or from the beach you can walk up to the raised pool area and the Loggia welcomes you.
Most noteworthy there is a three level Atrium and as a result it sees like each suite opens to a Pueblo. Furthermore the glass elevator connects four levels and roof terrace.
Outside a covered loggia extends the front of the house, while connecting you to the pool.
The Atrium splits the bulk of the House in two wings and allows natural light through and gives the Interior a Village felling and bringing in the outdoors.
The basement a lower ground floor, contains the “Brain”, the Gym, the home theater and cellar, as well as the staff quarters.
The North View Elevation is terraced towards the Ocean and pool. The 65’ long vanishing edge or endless pool, visually merges the pool with the Ocean bringing it closer to the House. Couldn’t do the pool any bigger!
The South or front elevation facing the street and Golf course is Palladian.
The Loggia. An outdoor living area is frequently used as an extension to both, the indoor and pool. Nautilus fountain on one end and Classic lion head fountain in the other.
The Library. Honduran mahogany was used throughout the library and the rest of the house.
Intelligent glass was used reducing the amount of UV rays 95%, and laminated for hurricane winds.