Completed in 2021 by Riparia Architecture Studio, Kokonut is a fragmented residential building at the Mexican Riviera Maya consisting of three volumes that responded to three main factors: the trapezoidal geometry of the property, the surviving trees of the work previously done on the site, and the views of the property.
Kokonut Apartments Technical Information
- Architects1-4: Riparia
- Location: Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
- Topics: Concrete, Bricks, Residential
- Area: 1427 m2
- Project Year: 2021
- Photographs: © Tamara Uribe
The proposal is divided into 3 volumes, the two side volumes are symmetrical and the central one opens like a fan towards the jungle.
Kokonut Apartments Photographs
Text by the Architects
A fragmented building was proposed in a previously impacted 1,019.54 m² plot with frontal and lateral constraints, consisting of three volumes that responded to three main factors. The first one is to the property’s trapezoidal geometry, the second one to the surviving trees of the work previously done on the site, and the third to enhance the views looking out from the property.
The 4 meters difference between the street level and the site level already present on-site was used as an excuse to build four levels instead of the three that are usually allowed, which greatly increased the value of the project. To the front, a permeable paving stone plaza functions as a parking space and allows rainwater to infiltrate the soil below. A narrow bridge connects the plaza to the main building, creating an interior lightwell/patio that carefully respects the existing trees and illuminates and ventilates the adjacent apartments in the lower levels.
The proposal is divided into 3 volumes, the two side volumes are symmetrical, and the central one opens like a fan towards the jungle. The exterior facade is discreet and solid to maintain a certain level of privacy towards the street and soften the rigidity of the walls. A block-lattice was placed in the staircase; this is intended to function as a lamp illuminated with warm light at night. The rear façade is made up of balconies that end in a narrow slab edge.
The challenge was to design a low-budget building but with very attractive spots.
The natural material finish was left untouched so that the building ages with dignity and with as little maintenance as possible. A strict logic was used for material placement, using only one direction for concrete and the other for cinder block giving each hierarchy and purity.
On the lower level, a long rectangular pool with views to the jungle was proposed, while the private amenities were placed at the roof garden level. The side units have stairs to the outside to avoid an overhead structure and save space inside.
Below the parking lot is the mechanical room and water tanks with the necessary preparations to harvest and purify rainwater.
The building’s geometry allows each unit to have its own corridor, thanks to this, and as per client request, the apartments have 2 doors, one for main access and another to a room that the owner can rent independently as a hotel room. The central unit, having the room facing the jungle, has a wooden lattice door to control the access to the terrace in case the second bedroom gets rented.
Kokonut Apartments Plans
Kokonut Apartment Building at Riviera Maya Image Gallery
Riparia is an architectural firm based in Mexico City
- Project team: Laurent Herbiet, Giordana Rojas, Andrés Burguete, Fernanda Romero y Ana Benítez
Developer: TAO México
Structural design: Ing. Enrique Minchaca
Rainwater harvesting design: Sistemas Pluviales SPL