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ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE IN SYMBIOSIS ON THE CARIBBEAN COAST

The work of Co-Lab Design Office, based in Tulum, is inspired by the beauty of the Yucatan and encourages a connection between the landscape and the built environment. Zoom in on three projects.

© Cesar Bejar

The studio, founded by Joana Gomes and Joshua Beck, has been creating contextual and sustainable designs for thirteen years, working directly with artisans. The workspace doubles as a workshop for designing and making prototypes of furniture, objects and accessories, while experimenting with different materials and techniques. Her repertoire of projects is a magnificent blend of architecture and nature.

© Cesar Bejar

PRIVACY AND COMFORT

Casa Areca is designed as a holiday home, nestling in a landscape of palm trees. The ground floor features an open-plan kitchen, dining room and living room. These spaces open out to the exterior through retractable and or pivoting glass doors, in a geometric pattern where the swimming pool and private gardens border the terrace. On the first floor, four bedrooms have en suite bathrooms. Reinforced concrete, polished cement and wood make up the floors, walls and ceilings, offering a palette of soft colours in contrast with the bespoke furniture. Multiple windows maintain a constant internal coolness, while the façade with its wooden sticks lets the light filter through, sketching out this journey of sun and shadows during the day.

© Cesar Bejar
© Cesar Bejar

A RELAXING INTERLUDE

The Luum Casa spa is also a worthy celebration of the natural environment and space. The circular structure is made up of several rooms arranged in a radius around a central courtyard, connecting the indoors and outdoors. Each space, surrounded by glass panels, is designed to be an intimate and relaxing experience. Outdoor and indoor pools invite guests to bathe in the open air, in the middle of the jungle or within the premises itself. An underground hammam, made from limestone excavated and hewn on site, draws on Middle Eastern style. Like the sauna, it offers a respite from everyday life. Meanwhile, the restaurant offers a menu good for body and soul. Polished cement walls and volcanic stone floors complete the theatrical ambience, which contrasts with the lush panorama.

© Cesar Bejar
© Cesar Bejar

SHADOWS AND LIGHT

As for Villa Petricor, it encourages you to marvel at the beauty of the moment. Its design is reminiscent of an arch, with three rooms featuring curved openings that create fluid transitions between inside and outside. The open-plan living space on the ground floor connects to the pool via large pivoting windows. The bedroom, living room and terrace also merge into a single continuous space. A tropical garden surrounds the whole space to encourage privacy. Here again, the materials (polished cement walls, terrazzo floors, earthy fabrics) interact with the furniture and ornaments made by the studio. As in the other two projects, the shadows cast by the vegetation extend the presence of nature throughout the spaces.

© Cesar Bejar

Mexico – Tulum

co-labdesignoffice.com

Nathalie Dassa