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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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