Baja Club Hotel
César Béjar
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Air conditioningMitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US
Wood cladding and windowsAccoya
Structural concreteCEMEX
SanitarywareDuravit
Bathroom mixersDornbracht
Door handles & locksetsFSB

Product Spec Sheet
Air conditioning
Wood cladding and windows
by Accoya
Structural concrete
by CEMEX
Sanitaryware
by Duravit
Bathroom mixers
Door handles & locksets
by FSB

Baja Club Hotel

Grupo Habita as Client

Desert villa chic in La Paz
La Paz, Baja California Sur, MEXICO – Located on a beautiful plot of coastal boardwalk in the historic center of La Paz, Mexico, Baja Club’s spring 2021 opening is a welcome bright spot on the travel horizon. Here, on the Baja California Peninsula, an early 20th century villa is reborn with the addition of a chic new four-story extension. The glorious completion of an adaptive reuse project by Max von WerzArquitectos and Jaune Architecture, the hotel houses 32 guest rooms and suites, a pool and spa, a restaurant and rooftop bar. After all, it wouldn’t be a Grupo Habita project if it didn’t have the hippest sundowner joint in town.  

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

For their 14th project, Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha (the duo behind Grupo Habita) looked no further than their own coastline to draw nautical inspiration from the legendary Sea of Cortés. Originally built in 1910, the classic hacienda, once known as Casa Antigua and belonging to the local Cornejo family, was the site for oyster pearl harvesting. Seamlessly blending old with new, the tiered additions maintain the sleek low-profile of the original home and provide generous terraces with views of La Paz bay. Subtle nautical connotations such as the new build's horizontal streamlining and the use of prominent wood elements throughout the project play on the maritime context of the hotel.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

Tasked with the repurpose of the mission-style villa, architecture and design firms Max von WerzArquitectos and Jaune Architecture collaborated on the new vision. Taking cues from the country’s rich tradition of colors, textures, and craftsmanship, spaces are defined by the same green and red tones common to Mexican earthenware, old metals and woods, and woven materials. Nods to the historic origins come in the form of a massive double door main entrance with original ironmongery, tall ironwork windows, exposed wood beams, tiled bathrooms, and striking red terrazzo floors. Outside, a rough stucco façade highlights the villa’s character, while the L-shaped new build and 32 rooms frame a central courtyard, creating clusters of peaceful patios and gardens. From the central courtyard, guests will feel cocooned in the intimate nature of the property, while a full spa experience is available, as is a restaurant concept centered around Greek flavors. 

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

Working with local artisans, Grupo Habita paid special attention to respect the surrounding environment through an implementation of bioclimatic design. Central to this approach, an original pergola was restored—integral to the preservation of native vegetation. An outdoor kitchen encourages further guest interaction with the open-air and extensive greenery. As with their previous projects, the duo’s commitment to infusing the local experience into every aspect of the hotel comes from collaborating in a holistic sense. “We use a local team every time we build a hotel—the surroundings and their local traditions are the very heartbeat of our projects,” says Carlos Couturier. ‘’The idea is for guests to feel welcomed by the hosts of the Baja Club.’’

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

La Paz region
Located on a seafront promenade in the historic center of La Paz, Baja California, Baja Club’s location is a stone’s throw from the area’s restaurants, bars, parks, and public art by Mexican and international artists. An ideal destination for ecotourism, there is a bounty of offerings from biking and trekking, to leisurely walks on the Malecón. La Paz was for centuries known as one of the world's foremost pearl fishing centers, as documented in John Steinbeck's novel The Pearl, and boasts such rich biodiversity Jacques Cousteau referred to it as ‘the aquarium of the world’.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

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Baja Club Hotel

Max von Werz Architects as Architects

Baja Club entails a 32–room lifestyle hotel for hoteliers Grupo Habita located on a beautiful plot of coastal promenade in the historic centre of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Blending old with new, the 3623 m2 project brings together the restoration and adaptive reuse of a pre–existing colonial–style villa dating from 1910 –once a site for oyster pearl harvesting– and the construction of a new four–story extension plus basement containing guestrooms, suites, a spa and a rooftop sunset bar.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

The new build echoes the L–shaped floor plan of the villa resulting in an ensemble that loosely frames a central courtyard, home to several fragrant frangipani trees, while isolating a series of more tranquil gardens and patios along the perimeter of the site. Throughout the project, the material palette draws on the property’s original detailing, including artisanal terrazzo and Tala-vera tiles, hand–finished timber latticework and carpentry, and blown glass lamps in transparent and amber tones.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

The tiered massing of the extension reduces its visual bulk and provides generous terraces enjoy-ing panoramic views of the Bay of La Paz, once the setting of John Steinbeck’s novel The Pearl. Subtle nautical connotations such as the new build’s horizontal streamlining, curved timber bulkheads and massive built–in tables draw inspiration from the nearby Sea of Cortés once famously coined the “aquarium of the world” by Jacques Cousteau.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

Vertical circulation is resolved in form of a generous helical staircase positioned at the hinge point between the two wings of the new building. It’s an almost sculptural element and the centrepiece of the addition. Due to its comfortable tread to riser ratio, it sweeps visitors up to the upper guest room levels and the rooftop sunset bar with an ease that disincentivizes the use of the elevators which are located off of the same open–air lobby space.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

Guest–room corridors are also open–air, shaded by brise–soleil elements that promote cross ventilation. Passive design solutions were employed where possible. For instance, the new build’s cantilevered reinforced concrete floor plates serve as passive shading elements that vastly reduce solar heat gain to the interior spaces and minimize the dependence on mechanical air conditioning. Numerous water elements throughout the project cause evapotranspiration and thus refresh the outdoor spaces in La Paz’ hot and dry desert climate.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

The project preserves the majority of landscaped areas and native vegetation as they existed in the pre–existing residential property. An old pergola located in the central courtyard was re-stored for use as an al fresco dining area with the addition of an open grill station. Likewise, the old property walls with their large–format antique brickwork were preserved in their entirety.

photo_credit César Béjar
César Béjar

A new pool is located in one of the peaceful outer courtyards. Large brick platforms conceived by the landscape designers PAAR continue the language of the massive brick property walls and accommodate potted plumerias and sunbeds with a view to the swimming pool finished in the smooth artisanal Mexican stucco Chukum.

Caption

Material Used:
1. Wood cladding and windows: Inntec, Accoya
2. Carpentry and millwork: Grupo DH 
3. Handmade Talavera floor and wall tiles: San Pedro Tile
4. Handmade terrazzo floor tiles: Gabriel Fausto Alvarez
5. Loose furniture: custom designs by JAUNE, production by Grupo DH & Claudia Fernandez
6. Upholstery: NUA / DUES
7. Lighting: Astro Light, custom designs by Luca Salas, production by Spettro Studio
8. Blown glass elements: El Resplandor 
9. Bathroom accessories & mirrors: Taller Tornel
10. Bathroom mixers: Dornbracht
11. Sanitary ware: Duravit
12. Door handles & locksets: FSB 
13. Signage: custom design by Policestudio, fabrication by Jesús Sigala
14. Swimming pool finish: Chukum
15. Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams
16. Structural concrete: Cemex
17. Kitchen: DIPREC
18. Air conditioning: Trane, Honeywell
19. Ceiling fans: Hunter
20. Wallplates: Mulberry
21. Lighting controls: Lutron, Leviton
22. Elevators: OTIS

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Project Credits
Structural engineering
Photographers
Interior design
Lighting design
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