Located inside the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in the municipality of Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Casa Bautista is a private oasis hidden in the coastal rainforest and completely powered by solar and wind energy.

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a bird's-eye view of a coastal resort. to the left, a building surrounded by trees. to the right, blue water crashing on the sand.

The reserve area can be found less than 40 miles from the center of tourist-friendly Tulum. It was established as a natural reserve in 1986 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site shortly after. This region is known for its natural limestone cenotes, archaeological ruins and, thanks to the healthy coral reef just off the coast, incredible snorkeling.

Related: Prefab eco-pods offer luxury lodging in any environment

a deck with wood accents connected to the interior of a villa

One of the most unique aspects of this eco resort’s architectural design is the color. To build the main structure, designers used an organic blue cast concrete that reacts to sun exposure throughout the day. Depending on the time of day and sun exposure, the color tones of the house range from various shades of blue to light pink and orange.

an indoor-outdoor area with wood accents, a hanging chair and an in-ground spa where two people are lounging

Aimed at providing sustainable luxury, Casa Bautista is built on raised cross-shaped columns to reduce environmental impact on-site and to provide undisturbed views over the dunes between the property and the Caribbean sea. Terraces and pergolas situated throughout the house are made of locally-sourced wood, and an extended L-shaped floor plan provides natural cross ventilation. The L-shape protects much of the interior from gaining too much sun exposure, while simultaneously providing adequate natural light during the day. Thanks to the cross breeze generated from the open design, only the bedrooms need air conditioning.

to the left, a spiral staircase with a person walking up it. to the right, a seating area in a structure with wood ceilings and accents

A spiral staircase made with the same color-changing blue concrete connects all three levels of the structure. The middle floor and large roof terrace house much of the interior living space, while a pool and outdoor dining room are located on the top floor. A small tower off the master bedroom can be used as an additional space for work or meditation. Terraces also include a folding mechanism that can be raised and lowered to turn the residence into a “robust closed box” in the event of a hurricane.


Images via Onnis Luque