This Expansive Beachside Home on Mexico's Pacific Coast Puts a Modern Spin on Tradition

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Made up of several pavilions and consisting of a palm tree-thatched roof, large wood walls, and exposed concrete, Casa en el Pacifico utilizes traditional local materials to articulate a contemporary architectural language.

Situated on a secluded segment of coastline in Guerrero, Mexico, Casa en el Pacifico (House on the Pacific Coast) is a sleek modern version of the traditional Mexican palapa (beach house). Designed by Bernardi + Peschard Arquitectura—Alejandro Bernardi and Beatriz Peschard's Mexico City-based architecture firm—the home is actually more of a mini-village with separate structures that unfold into a beach villa complex. 

The starting point for the design is a large central pavilion that's used as a living/dining area. Set close to the sea, this common space is larger than the other pavilions and serves as the heart of the complex. It's open and breezy with 33-foot-high ceilings and a grand view of a private beach.

The smaller pavilions are nestled in the landscape and connected by a path that's made from cut tree trunks—a layout which extends a sense of privacy from the public space. The concept of having a series of independent pavilions differs from the massive home constructions that are prevalent in the area, making the design of the complex even more unique. 

The home's neutral and natural material palette showcases local parota wood and rough-cut stone, which juxtaposes with poured concrete that's been mixed with  local dirt to give it a warm earthy glow—integrating the home into its lush beachside setting. 

Here, we take a tour of this extraordinary property. 

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Each of the smaller pavilions is nestled into the landscape of native vegetation and is set along a path that's connected by stepping stones made out of cut tree trunks. 

Each of the smaller pavilions is nestled into the landscape of native vegetation and is set along a path that's connected by stepping stones made out of cut tree trunks. 


The home features a stunning view of a private beach.

The home features a stunning view of a private beach.


Set close to the sea, this common area is the heart of the complex  and is bigger than the other pavilions.

Set close to the sea, this common area is the heart of the complex and is bigger than the other pavilions.


The living/dining area is in a palapa made of natural parota wood, which is over 33 feet high.

The living/dining area is in a palapa made of natural parota wood, which is over 33 feet high.


The traditional thatched roof has been given a contemporary spin. 

The traditional thatched roof has been given a contemporary spin. 


The site is lush with natural local vegetation. 

The site is lush with natural local vegetation. 


One of the bedrooms is shown here. 

One of the bedrooms is shown here. 


Cutouts allow sea breezes to flow through non-air-conditioned spaces.

Cutouts allow sea breezes to flow through non-air-conditioned spaces.


The thatched palapa roof  is juxtaposed with the modern structure, putting a contemporary spin on tradition. 

The thatched palapa roof  is juxtaposed with the modern structure, putting a contemporary spin on tradition. 


The material palette includes naturally finished local parota wood and rough-cut stone.

The material palette includes naturally finished local parota wood and rough-cut stone.


The property features a spectacular ocean view in a equally spectacular setting. 

The property features a spectacular ocean view in a equally spectacular setting. 


Shown here is the seaside saltwater pool. 

Shown here is the seaside saltwater pool. 


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