Starr Residence Office
and Recording Studio
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
This design is actually two structures linked by a tension
cable walkway bridge. The tall, seven-story structure contains the main
living areas, bedrooms, offices of the owners and exterior boat-docking
patio. The mainland structure is rooted to existing boulder outcroppings
and contains a guesthouse and music recording studio, which leads to
an outdoor patio and stairway to the existing beachfront. In this very
hot and dry beach climate it makes sense to be in the water and to use
a tall, thin structure that can be cooled by ocean breezes and afford
spectacular 360 degree views of the ocean coast. A tall, thin structure
minimizes the surface area that is heated by the overhead sun at the
hottest hours of the day. The tower is rooted to the shallow sea bottom
and has a floating patio dock attached to the main structure at sea
level. The interior living room is a glass sphere that bobs gently with
the ocean current. A helical stairway rises through all seven levels
and culminates in an open but screened bird aviary forming the roof.
The tower is made of thickly painted steel coated with tar up to the
ocean level. The structural system is a double helix wound hyperbolic
paraboloid with opening 1-meter diameter acrylic hemisphere windows
throughout the entire tower--easy and accessible ventilation and uninterrupted
vistas. In fact, the clear hemisphere windows allow you to view " around
the corner" of the wall, like a bay window, and also lets in more light.
It is also far stronger than a flat window to resist hurricane wind
and rain forces that frequent the area. All in all this is an edifice
that belongs to this terrain and this climate--an uncommon design solution
to some very common design challenges.
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