Local materials, textures, senses and nature merge together in two main patios to become the core of this project in Mexico by Studio Arquitectos. The main objective of Aldea Ka’a Housing Complex was to create a solution for the current situation in Tulum: the city has become more popular over the years and the vacation housing demand has increased. Nowadays, the developers are more focused on vacation rental houses and have left locals aside. After they have identified the necessity for residential housing, the architects designed a project to meet the needs of the locals with an architectural design equal to any other complex aimed at tourists.
The project is divided in 4 units that are connected by 2 common areas or patios that create air circulation, privacy and natural lighting over the 4 units with 2 apartments each one; that means, 8 apartments in a total area of 873 m2. The distribution of the units inside the property is directly related to the architects’ tree survey. The main pergola is the longitudinal axis of the building. It creates tension and connection among the units and the 2 main patios. The path is a whole sensorial and receptive experience by being completely surrounded by plants from the region.
The merging of the patios and the pergola provide proper functioning and efficient flow due to their function as transition spaces between the public and private areas. In addition, the different plants and organic materials of the region offer privacy, intimacy and partial isolation without separating the inside from the outside.
Studio Arquitectos aimed to create a volumetric hierarchy starting from the pedestrian level; therefore, they chose a closed volumetry on the upper level facing out and an open one facing to the main patios, creating a terrace in the second floor with a floating garden area that blend both the inside and the outside resulting in a green and private place.
The idea of involving local materials was implemented for the residents to feel the connection with the apartments. The 4 main materials used were polished Chukum for floors and walls, Tzalam wood for woodworking supplies, Mayan stone and steel beams. The interaction of these elements and design met the purpose of making a project to create a community, to reflect the personality of the residents and to merge the building with the green jungle of Tulum.
Design and info © Studio Arquitectos
Images © Pablo Garcia Figueroa