MAIN OFFICE is an architecture studio with mixed Mexican and Swedish origins, founded by young Dante Borgo and Isabella Eriksson, which focuses on interior design, architecture and urban planning, with a strategic and attentive approach to the key elements of developing innovative projects that suit all types of budgets, locations and design and construction programmes.
The aim of the studio’s recent project was to breathe new life into Villa Pelícanos, a complex of private pavilion dwellings dating back to the 1980s, set in the landscape of Mexico’s west coast. Specifically, the villa is located in Sayulita, a seaside town popular with tourists for both wellness and surfing holidays.
The complex has a private beach that can accommodate up to 20 people, a very popular setting for practising yoga. The architects redesigned the eight individual villas and a communal area at the top of the hill that includes a shared kitchen, dining room and swimming pool, retaining the African aesthetic desired by the previous South African owner, combined with Mexican elements.
Some features have therefore been retained, such as the palapa roofs, but the structure had to be worked on to limit the damage caused by exposure to the sun and ocean breezes. Materials from local resources were used for the restoration. For the warm interior elements such as room dividers, wardrobe doors and furniture, designed entirely by MAIN OFFICE, the architects chose indigenous Parota wood, which is resistant to humidity and salinity. The interior walls, previously stained, were deliberately painted white, complementing the interior components and acting as a neutral background to emphasise the surrounding landscape. The rustic ambience is then complemented by new fixed elements, including bed frames, washbasins and bathtubs, made of concrete cast on site. Wooden doors and windows have been restored, while new flooring on the terrace has revolutionised the spaces, blending them with the jungle outside.
Private spaces in the villas have been modified, blurring the boundary between outside and inside, celebrating the site’s natural environment. An outdoor shower defined by stones creating a secluded wall opens up to the sky and the treetops, and an in-situ concrete outdoor bathtub overlooking the Pacific Ocean allows guests to merge with nature.
A key element located at the bottom of the slope is the yoga platform that takes the form of a perfect semi-circle, nestled between the wooded banks. The cut into the landscape is enhanced by the purpose-built retaining wall made of local stone. The floor is made of durable Cumaru wood, naturally resistant to wear and tear and harsh climates. Adjacent to the platform, stone planters house a majestic Papelillo tree that frames an idyllic view of the Pacific Ocean, helping to create the perfect place to exercise and enjoy the therapeutic and relaxing power of nature.
PROJECT Villa Pelícanos ARCHITECT MAIN OFFICE ((Sima Agisheva, Dante Borgo, Isabella Eriksson) PROJECT TEAM Angie Guzmán, Paulina Castro, Mave Zurita, Luis Gordian, Brenda Cibrian, Pablo Alemán LOCATION Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico YEAR 2020 CONTRACTOR Terrazza Construcciones, Sayulita (Mexico) FURNITURE DESIGN MAIN OFFICE PHOTO Rafael Gamo