The Firm

Jan 2011|News from de Reus

Mexico: Ancient Cultures & Tropical Architecture


In each of our luxury residential and resort projects de Reus Architects enjoys the challenge of creating tropical architecture that resonates with lifestyle expectations and the ancient cultures of the location.  “Our search is for the artistic expression of the entire environment, where site, buildings, cultural history, and landscape evolve together; as a holistic design, not as separate entities“. This is the “Art of Placemaking” the philosophical cornerstone of our practice.

Turning our attention to Mexico and Central America, I’d like to share some of the ancient Mayan and Mesoamerican inspiration for our firm’s design of a private villa.

In terms of materiality, open-pole thatched roofs were constructed by the region’s best craftsman using organic tree trunk columns known as Mato Palo, the result of strangler vines wrapping mahogany tree trunks. Centuries old masonry construction techniques were utilized and the mass and texture of the hand-hewn stone maintain the presence of ancient Mayan architecture and design sensibilities within this contemporary dwelling.  Hues of gold and rust stone utilized by ancient builders were sourced from local travertine quarries for this residence. Carvings were directly inspired by ancient temples found across Central America. Plaster walls throughout this Mexican coastal villa feature the deep, saturated colors of the Mesoamerican palette.

An epitome of a tropical experience, this private luxury villa stretches along a white sand beach in Mexico. Our aim with the design of this coastal retreat was for the architecture to blend seamlessly into the landscape. The result of this design intention can be seen in the placement of the thatched buildings comprising the home. For the clients, their private villa is a tropical home with the feel of ancient Mayan architecture that provides all their privacy and lifestyle needs.

To quote the Italo Calvino in The Uses of Literature, “Myth is in the hidden part of every story / the buried part, the region that is still unexplored because there are as yet no words to enable us to get there. Myth is nourished by silence as well words.”

Images and additional information on this private villa are available only in Tropical Experience: Architecture + Design.

To read an excerpt regarding Mayan Architecture click here.

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