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2018 MCHAP

Punta Caliza Holbox Hotel

Estudio Macias Peredo

Lazaro Cardenaz, Mexico

December 2017


Salvador Macías Magui Peredo


Leonardo Ruíz (Project Director) Claudia Muñoz (Project Team)


Claudia Muñoz Vargas


César Alejandro Béjar Anaya


As the main statement we decided to exploit the potential of the isolation of the building site, creating a perimeter of walking sand followed by long thatched roof buildings, drawn from the same triangular figure given by the plot. The long buildings house the rooms and generate a large central courtyard, which when flooded, becomes the main space of activity and recreation of the hotel. This public area permeates little by little into the rooms, generating private pools from the same body of water. The rooms are raised above the water contained by “chukum” non-structural walls, -a natural material made of resin from tree bark, sand, and limestone-. Inside each space, the wood becomes the dominant element. Each structural frame sustaining the roof activates and promotes the interiors experience, allowing a full transparency towards the vegetated and water slim patios of the rooms and a total visibility at the public spaces. The base sustaining the rooms is suddenly interrupted to begin the opening of the canopy that shelters the service areas which are located at the east tip of the land, leaving both areas (private and service) completely isolated from each other. A wooden tower emerges as a finishing touch and to welcome the guests, creating a visual connection between the inside of the building and the island.


Holbox has a rich Mayan heritage which is reflected in the mores and traits of its people, their bare feet on the sand of the streets, and its enormous respect as a community towards its natural environment. Caribbean influences can be seen among the primitive mayan huts, through the colorfulness that come out to the scene at. The usable resources for the building within the island became limited. The use of materials produced in the vicinity, such as wood from the region, and the dry leaves of the palms for the rooftops turned into a condition for the conception of the project. The strategy of settling over an easily flooded and eroded land -which sometimes suffer notable conditions of wind and hurricanes- generates an opposite logic in terms of construction’s language. Asking for lightness and rootedness at the same time. The building site is isolated, as an island in itself, away from the beach and mangroves. Delimited only by a large green mass of vegetation, in which a concavity generates the entrance of water to the center of a green fortress.


As expected since the conception of the project, the most used and enjoyed areas are outdoors, the swimming pool being the main space of the building. Secondly, the outdoor furniture becomes a big part of the hotel’s function, having chaise lounge chairs and hammocks, which have a direct relation with the pool and the mangrove, permitting the guest to connect both elements water and foliage. The building mimics the island thanks to the palm roofs, becoming part of the location’s skyline, blending between the trees and other natural elements. The only distinguished element of the complex is the tower, which has caused the hotel to be known as “the ship” (“el barco”) by the locals.

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