26 Jul Los Veranos
In the jungles 45 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta rests a modern compound under construction that is gently coming to fruition. This 3+ acres site resides on the outskirts of a small village sandwiched between several mountains where on any given day you will see several zip lining companies cruising by. It’s a magical place, but it’s also a very different place if you are trying to design a high end modern residence. Major grading and site planning at the beginning of the project (two plus years ago) led to a lot of major decisions that are still being felt today. With the extreme downpours of the rainy season and intense heat of the dry season also comes challenges. Please join me as I take you through my latest site visit.
House and motor court
The initial push was to get the house, guesthouse and the motor court built and ultimately be livable. At the time of this trip the house and guest house were finished, but the Clients could not move in yet as the interior furnishings and materials were still being sorted out. As for the exterior, the plants were 80% installed around the motor court with some accent plantings missing. As the designer, the best part about using tropical plants (beside the color and pop they give off) is that they grow quick and cover up any minor mistakes that may have occurred during installation. The biggest issue I saw while out there involved the irrigation system that they installed a couple days before. The wrong irrigation heads were installed which those white pipes that are sticking up seen in the short video. Since my site visit this issue has been resolved and you won’t be seeing any white PBC pipes sticking up anymore.
The front entry into the house is starting to also take form. This was a difficult space to design eloquently while also making it functional as we used the foundation of the original house from over 15 years ago. This meant the orientation of the house was already set and yet the entry gate along the perimeter wall was not parallel with the entry door to the house. To add to trying to connect these two non-parallel doors there was also about a 10’ change in height from the gate entry to the house entry. The solution was to create several concrete slabs that came off parallel from each of the two doors and met in the middle. This created three nice pads that people can talk / hang as they are leaving or entering while also looking nice if the front entry rarely gets used.
After the main house was built, construction started on the stables and the pool house. To do this a lot of dirt had to be moved because everything we initially designed was too small for the client. We ended up doubling the stables and the pool house while pushing the hillside back. The pool house consists of a gym, game room, sauna, outdoor room with a huge built in bar and high end BBQ equipment. The main feature is a large infinity edge spa the water pours over the edge and into a baja step that then flows into a 60’ wide infinity pool. As this gets built Ill add more information about this.
Rest of the site
The rest of the site has been rough graded which includes a terrace system to help with stream overflow during the wet season. The stream was always a huge concern since very beginning of the project as it cut directly through the entire site. We ended up slightly moving the stream to better let it flow and reduce choke points and sharp corners. The terrace helped in this and was built out of local boulders that we brought in or found on the site. Roads and bridges still need to be constructed and eventually the entire site will be planted per plan. As for right now we are letting nature take its course while we finish the other areas which is by far the best thing to do in a tropical paradise. Lush greenery will take over the dirt in no time.
Not your typical construction site
Every time I come to site I am greeted by the neighbors who are some of the nicest and friendliest people I have ever met. They insist on feeding me (best food I’ve had in Mexico) and helping out with whatever they can. After spending time with them I proceed to walk over to the site where I have no idea what to expect each time I’m there. Horses, dogs, pythons stories about chupacabras, tequila, it’s all there.