Mexico Residence

Location Baja, Mexico
Design Principal Jim Olson

Set on a sandy beach in Mexico, this seasonal vacation home allows its owner to entertain large numbers of friends and family while maintaining a comfortable private space. A central, two-story gathering space separates the public areas—living, dining, kitchen and catering—from the master suite. An upstairs floor containing bedrooms, bunkrooms, bathrooms, and a kids’ area can be closed off when desired.

Inspired by traditional Mexican design, the house is nonetheless modern, weaving together a tapestry of travertine, wood, and integrally colored plaster. Exterior trellises of stained alder work their way from outside to inside, unifying the two through a layer of rectilinear planes. The broad exterior trellises diffuse the harsh sunlight facilitating inside/outside living.

The family basically lives in and around this one central space. We designed it to have as intimate a connection to the ocean as possible.

Jim Olson Design Principal

The heart of the home is the double-height living area, which is flanked by the kitchen and master suite on the first floor and guest rooms on the second. Glass pocket doors completely open the waterfront elevation to the vista of sand and sea that lies just beyond the blue-mosaic–tiled pool. In the evening the doors remain open and a set of sliding louvered screens provide privacy without cutting off the cool breezes and the sound of surf.  That indoor-outdoor link is further expressed through an array of alfresco areas, including generous terraces off the guest rooms, a poolside fire pit framed by an L-shaped banquette, an open-air shower off the master suite, and a rooftop lounge.

Interiors by Terry Hunziker emphasize comfort and ease of maintenance without sacrificing sophistication. Indigenous objects and furniture are used throughout the house, many of them sourced regionally.

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