Ajijic, JAL, MX
PUNTA ZULA HOUSES
Design: Elías Rizo / Alejandro Rizo
The Punta Zula complex consists of three single-family houses located on a large site right by the Chapala lakeshore. The project was derived from the challenging task of addressing the needs of seven different clients on a typical floor plan. In addition to this, the design scheme, which was conceived as a vacation home, had to anticipate the use by multiple guests. The whole of the program is complex and large but it was resolved on a compact footprint that would yield the most outdoor area in order to take full advantage of Chapala’s extraordinary weather as well as the views of the Ajijic mountain range and the Lake.
A stone-paved driveway, pinched between the garage and storage spaces, grants vehicular access to the site. The road bends past the corner of the first house to become a linear pedestrian pathway that crosses the entire site and leads straight to the beach. The houses are staggered along an oblique, East-West axis so as allow some degree of privacy between them and to avoid obstructing frank views of the lake.
The buildings are surrounded by a series of paved pathways flanked by small fern hedges and grass. A rectangular pool shaded by a large tree can be seen past the large lawn that stands between the houses and the lake. Next to it is a small, one-story building that houses two bathrooms and a small veranda underneath a pergola.
The three identical, orthogonal blocks stand as a geometric statement on a flat, mostly open site with a few young trees. Three sides of each block are cladded in stone. These facades are composed based on the stone tile module; every so often a series of stone rows are omitted to make way for vertical glazed bands. The fourth façade, which faces the lake, gives away the space inside the house through a series of large sliding windows. Two wide balconies with glass railings protrude on the second floor underneath concrete eaves, and shade the lower level below.
The main access on the first floor opens to an entry vestibule which connects to the kitchen, dining and living spaces. The service cluster is accessed through the kitchen and through its own autonomous entry past a laundry patio. The dining/living hall is enclosed by a retractable glazing envelope that opens up to the outdoor terrace and allows views of the lake beyond. The upper level includes five bedrooms connected via a central hall. The three main suites offer views of the Lake, while the other two bedrooms face the mountain.