Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

This site uses cookies. By using our services, you agree to our cookie use.
Learn more here.

Competition: Puerto Vallarta resort masterplan, Mexico

An international competition has been announced to masterplan a 494,127m² beachside hotel complex in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Deadline: 31 January)

Backed by Tafer Hotels & Resorts, the competition seeks proposals for a new 20,000m² holiday complex and a ‘sculptural and thematic’ masterplan for its surrounding landscape.

Proposals for the complex should be no taller than 12 storeys, and must encourage interaction between residents and the surrounding Pacific coastal area, which is overlooked by the dramatic Sierra Madre mountains.

Mexico

Mexico

Puerto Vallarta contest site

According to the brief: ‘The proposal can range in size, form and function and is therefore open to any number of creative projections, including but not limited to: a series of pavilions, a collection of buildings, a thematic park, a residential project, urban landscapes and more.

‘Recently, new initiatives have proposed renewed interpretations of the function of hotels, developing successful business models while providing exciting experiences for users; on the other hand, opportunities for the tried and tested hotel/residences model have yet to be fully explored taking into consideration the advancements in technology.’

The subtropical resort town of Puerto Vallarta is popular with tourists for its beaches, water sports and nightlife.

The town centre is home to the ornate Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, while the beachfront El Malecón district features an entertainment promenade with several bars, restaurants and contemporary sculptures.

The new resort will occupy a sloping 160 hectare site immediately next to the existing Garza Blanca resort development and between the Sierra Madre mountains and the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean.

Mexico

Mexico

Puerto Vallarta contest site

The competition is open to students, designers, urban planners, sociologists and professionals from around the world with participants limited to one design entry per individual or team.

Applications will be judged on their core concept, integration with the neighbouring resort, and their originality and creativity. The judging panel will also focus on the functionality, inventiveness and scale and zoning of the overall masterplan.

Teams may feature up to five members, who do not need to have an architectural qualification or affiliation with an architecture association. The competition languages are Spanish and English, and entries must feature two A1 boards alongside a 300-word description explaining the project.

The winning team will receive a $5,000 USD prize, and there will also be a second prize of $3,000, third prize of $2,000 and fourth prize of $1,000.

How to apply

Deadline

The registration deadline is 5 January and submissions must be completed by 8pm local time (CET) on 31 January.

Registration Fee

$1 USD for students or $50 USD for professionals

Contact details

Email: competition@taferresorts.com

View the competition website for more information

Seamarq Hotel case study: Q&A with Dukho Yeon

The associate partner at Richard Meier & Partners discusses lessons learned designing a new coastal hotel complex in Gangneung, South Korea

How did your Gangneung hotel create a high-quality hotel concept for its unique coastal location?

The new Seamarq Hotel project is of special and emotional significance to the owner as it had to be conceived to replace the 39-year-old Hyundai Hotel. The site is a beachfront hill top dense with pine trees and bamboo groves overlooking the eastern Korean Sea in Gangneung City, South Korea. The old hotel used to be a setting for the founder of the Hyundai Group where he used to retreat to contemplate the ocean and distant scenery of his native North Korea. The understanding of the site and its history was of tremendous importance to the design approach of the new hotel. But this aspect needed to be considered alongside the practical, functional, operational and economical aspects inherent in the design of a hotel building. The programme, consisting of 149 rooms, two restaurants, a boutique spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools in combination with a large venue for events was complex to resolve as the client’s operator also needed maximum views of the ocean from all spaces within the hotel.

Gangneung, South Korea

Gangneung, South Korea

Source: Image by Roland Halbe

Seamarq Hotel by Richard Meier & Partners

While designing the project, we took great consideration to these important aspects. Our primary goal from there was to create a strong sense of place by enhancing and transforming the existing site in a dramatic way but without disrupting its essence and by designing a very functional building but sensitive in scale and character. Many of the cues for the design came from the site, its light, its landscape, its topography. Perhaps the most important initial decision was to work with the configuration of the land and to design the hotel complex in relation to the existing topography and its orientation to maximise the views from all angles.

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness?

The textures and light colour palette of concrete, glass, and metal panel interact, reflect and enhance the natural beauty of the existing landscape. The geometric form of the hotel tower follows the soft shape and contours of the hill, with an 11-storey trapezoidal tower perched on top of a four-storey base comprising 150 guest rooms. A generous outdoor deck and promontory with an infinity-edge pool and panoramic views of the ocean is a signature space of the hotel on the fifth floor. Besides offering a place for social events, the deck acts as a transitional space between the low-rise base and the tower.

The porte cochère, framed by the hotel building canopy and entrance to the banquet hall, opens to a grand two-storey lobby lounge and bar facing the sea at ground level with a wraparound outdoor deck as an extension of the lobby. The views are unobstructed and maximised with indoor and outdoor spaces that flow seamlessly together. The restaurant is nestled into the existing landscape one level below the lobby and enjoys immediate and close views of the sea and the beachfront. The spa is one more level below, with spaces open to the dense vegetation and landscape, with its form following the natural shape of the hill.

The building’s crisp angular shape contrasts with the soft shapes of the hill and lower floors of the restaurant and spa. The exposed façade of the core is expressed with an irregular pattern that creates movement and balance, and the forms expressed in a light and white palette will make the building transform throughout the day in the interplay of light and the surrounding context.

Gangneung, South Korea

Gangneung, South Korea

Source: Image by Roland Halbe

Seamarq Hotel by Richard Meier & Partners

The design of the new Seamarq Hotel is concerned with the making of space, not abstract space, not scale-less space, but space whose order and definition is related to light, to human scale and to the culture of architecture. Every component of the hotel has been carefully designed taking into consideration the public areas, the weather and natural light of the East Sea. The unifying strategy for the whole project is the consistent concern with natural light, and the establishment of connections between the hotel and the rest of the complex.

What advice would you have to participants on masterplanning a hotel concept that engages with Puerto Vallarta’s dramatic landscape?

Showcase and preserve the natural landscape; enhance and take advantage of the expansive views to the Pacific Ocean; and take great consideration of the culture that is unique to Puerto Vallarta and the state of Jalisco in a creative way that has not been done before.

Gangneung, South Korea

Gangneung, South Korea

Source: Image by Roland Halbe

Seamarq Hotel by Richard Meier & Partners