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Villa Pelícanos

When Pelicans Fly

Mexico and Sweden-based studio Main Office has revived Villa Pelícanos, an existing residential complex dating from the ‘80s. Nestled in the tropical landscape of Mexico’s West Coast at Sayulita, a beach town that is a popular destination for health, wellness and surfing retreats, the project is composed of a series of pavilion-like individual dwellings that descend from a slope facing the Pacific Ocean. Immersed in the jungle, the complex has its own private beach and accommodates up to 20 guests and exudes the mellow ambiance of a yoga retreat.

The architects redesigned the eight villas and a common area at the top of the hill which includes a shared kitchen, a dining room, and a swimming pool, preserving the references to the African aesthetic, which reflect the heritage of the resort’s previous owner, originally from South Africa. As a result, the project combines Mexican elements and an African mood.

While externally preserving its original palapa roofs and atmosphere, the architects created interiors that resolved the damages suffered by the original structure due to its direct exposure to the tropical sun and the ocean breeze, while attempting as little environmental impact as possible.

The new spatial interventions celebrated the site’s natural setting. Exterior showers open toward the sky and the treetops and, an outdoor bathtub overlooking the Pacific Ocean allows guests to merge into nature. Smaller external showers and terraces interact with the jungle scenery and the sea-horizon.

A key feature located at the bottom of the slope is the yoga platform that takes the shape of a half-circle, nestled amongst the forested banks. A majestic Papelillo tree frames the views towards the Pacific Ocean.

Photos: Rafael Gamo – Photographer