In a world-class natural setting on the southern Jalisco coast surrounded by virgin beaches, rivers, mangroves, thick vegetation, golf courses and wildlife, we find El Zafiro. A luxury residential development situated on a long strip of land facing the estuary as it meets the sea.
The element that serves to generate the whole complex is a defined curve that arises from a reinterpretation of the traditional palapa hut found on the coast of Jalisco. The purpose of this element—apart from its aesthetic qualities—is to provide a comprehensive architectural solution. More than just an outer lining, it is a whole: a structural element that protects from excessive insolation while letting in natural light in a controlled manner, and encouraging natural cross ventilation that takes advantage of the breezes. At the same time it protects from the rain without obstructing views, and finally it serves as an enclosure for the residential program, acting at once as wall, floor, and roof.
This fundamental element is repeated in a modular fashion, following the undulations of the terrain and distributing the buildings in a linear manner, carefully arranging them to permit the best views while preserving privacy between different units.
The composition is made up of a total of 14 buildings, each with five luxury housing units: four two- or three-bedroom apartments and a four-bedroom penthouse.
Each of these elements is executed over three floors, constructed as superimposed layers. The first is a three-dimensional mesh abstracted from basic geometrical elements, made of laminated wood to achieve a lightweight structure that can be assembled in situ. Next, this is covered with a timber cladding system that makes it possible to vary the density of the solids to create windows and closures. Finally, further protection to rain and to sun is designed where required.
The surroundings are so beautiful that the project seeks an intelligent intervention that respects the landscape, while also benefitting the development of the local community. The selection of materials was made on the premise of reducing ecological impact to a minimum, blending in with the surroundings, and availing of local labor.