Hospitality Design: March, 2010
article by: Jana Schiowitz
photography: Robert Reck
Steep Terrain places luxury at the top in Mexico
Although set amidst a somewhat intimidating rocky terrain, the mountainous location of the Capella Pedregal resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, gave architecture firm HKS Hill Glazier Studio and interior design firm Paul Duesing Partners just the right cures for inspiration. " When we first visited the site, we understood right away not only how challenging it was, but how beautiful," says Luis Zapiain, senior project designer, HKS Hill Glazier Studio.
To preserve the beauty of the surrounding environment and incorporate it into the architecture, buildings with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean were constructed to look as though they are rising from the mountain thanks to local stone with gold and ochre hues and plasters. "All the materials we used are from the region and crafted by local artisans, which we feel is the only way to create a true authentic experience," explains Zapiain.
Throughout the 66-acre resort, local craftsmanship prevails, from sculptures with hand painted ceramic pieces to hand carved doors made in Guadalajara. " I wanted to really showcase and celebrate the local artisans that Mexico has to offer and [for] the guest to be immersed into the local culture, to have a sense of their destination while they are at the resort," explains Joshua Harrison, project manager, Paul Duesing Partners.
To complement the natural settings, he focused on textures and a warm color palette of green, blue, and tan. Furnishings are all natural- rocks become side tables, driftwood fragments are glowing sculptures with internal candlelight, and wood features stand behind headboards in guestrooms. " I wanted the interior to be a celebration of textures and senses; natural, but not contrived; soft and inviting as if immersed in the local nature, " says Harrison.
One major issue, courtesy of the rugged terrain, was the logistics of getting guests to the ocean. The solution: a long, flame-lit passageway, aptly called the Capella tunnel, carved through the mountain. " As you travel through, you begin to see glimpses of the ocean and when you reach the end, you know you have arrived at another world, " says Harrison.