Skip to Content

A fusion of coolness and warmth on the Quintana Roo coast

March 4, 2014
A fusion of coolness and warmth on the Quintana Roo coast

Design and architecture projects a ‘cool’ quality when it is simple; geometric; sleek; unadorned; in radiant color. In contrast, it intimates a ‘warm’ ambience when it is decorative; textured; patterned; handcrafted; in muted colors. At NIZUC Spa & Resort, architect and interior designer Alejandro Escudero has fused architectural and decorative elements of ‘cool’ and ‘warm,’ inspired by the environment and natural landscape of NIZUC’s Cancun location.

NIZUC occupies a stunning, yet secluded, spot on Mexico’s warm Quintana Roo coast where it touches the cool blue waters of the Mesoamerican Reef. Here, a series of box-like architectural volumes sit long and low along the sandy coastline. They are adorned with decorative features such as decking and awnings that enhance and emphasize geometry and linearity; and wooden horizontal slats and patterned encasements that add unassuming detail.

Rendered in an earthy palette, NIZUC’s architecture provides a subtle backdrop to the surrounding area. Grays, browns, and off-whites are found in the interior and exterior and offer a contrast to the glistening blues and lush greens of the region. Black reflecting pools and infinity pools, which seemingly stretch to the edge of the lagoon, are calmly subdued by day. By dusk, they reflect the warm pink tones of the sunset; and by night, they glow ember with cauldrons of dancing fire.

Escudero uses his architectural surfaces as blank canvases that he embellishes with natural materials to give the resort warmth and character. Glass, stone, granite, and slate line the floors, walls, and ceilings of the resort. They are decorated with recycled, indigenous, and handcrafted materials including mangrove branches, milled tropical wood, a thatched roof palapa, and hand-knotted wool rugs.

In its design, NIZUC embodies the coolness and warmth of its Cancun location as Escudero combines ‘cool’ and ‘warm’ architectural forms, details, colors, and textures to create a masterpiece of hospitality design.

Written by: Rebecca Gross, Graduate student, MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design, Following a Six Week Tour Of Latin America