By: Emilio de Antuñano Maurer — Architect
Much has already been said about Baja California Sur´s beauty and history so I´m going to focus on the residential development of Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas which, thirty years ago I saw for the first time. Back then, there wasn´t much to discover. The urban zone of Cabo, so to speak, was encircled by just a few blocks of sandy streets emanating from what is now downtown. We navigated those in a rented car without a predetermined destination, being guided only by the shape of the bay and the topography of the city; taking dirt roads and lanes that didn´t lead anywhere. Off the main boulevard we found a small street that ended at a plaza that was surprisingly decorated with buildings exhibiting stone arches topped with roof tiles, and surrounded by big, leafy Tabachin trees and colorful bougainvilleas. Plaza Cabo San Lucas (the name I learned later) represented urban order in the middle of a disordered urban territory: a small and peaceful oasis.
After walking around the plaza we entered Pedregal, and wandered around its rocky roads. The houses had various views. Some faced the bay, and others the mountain or the Pacific Ocean. The communion of desert and sea represented, to me, as an architect who has done the bulk of his work in Mexico City – an unexplored territory full of possibilities for establishing a new relationship between architecture and a combined arid and sea environment.
I promised myself then that if I ever had the chance to live in Cabo San Lucas I would do it here, in Pedregal.
Almost twenty years later, in 2002, my wife and I moved to this city. Our first apartment was in front of Plaza San Lucas and we rented there because of the excellent location. We got lucky and a few years later we found the ideal property for us, a small lot in front of Placita de la Cruz (very close to the entrance of the residential area), a few meters away from its principal plaza. After several months of analyzing many options on the design table, we started to build in March of 2013 and moved in by December of the same year. As an architect, one of the best advantages of the Pedregal location is the lack of restrictions when it comes to architectural design, which allowed me to freely express my imagination. Many residential developments are based on an idea or a preconceived style that can give coherence to the area, but to an architect it can be a straitjacket that prevents him or her from expanding his or her creative potential or making the most of contemporary options.
I always thought that my house would establish a dialogue with this unique locale. Since our property doesn´t have an ocean view, I oriented the house towards the view of the mountain that extends to the Pacific Ocean. The pool, garden, terraces, mezzanines and family room all capture this view. In the garden, we maintained the original flora of the desert, and when it rains it blossoms with lively colors and numerous shades of green. Not having a view of the sea has allowed us to create a space that is unique and intimate while enjoying desert and mountain vistas.
Fortunately, I´ve had the opportunity to design and build other houses amongst the multiple inclines and topology of Pedregal, which confirms for me that for an architect, there are no bad lots, and in fact it is precisely the individuality of each one of them, combined with its own design challenges, that allows for the particular features that distinguishes this community and enchants residents and visitors.
Finally, due its amazing location in the heart of the city and the many other benefits such as an organized Home Owners Association, I am convinced that Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas represents, besides quality, an outstanding and attractive real estate investment.