Rincon del Mar (corner of the see) is a small village situated along the Caribbean coast south of Cartagena in the county of Sucre. The village is built along a single unpaved road parallel to the sea. The street, defined by a sequence of colourful houses on the two sides, is the fundamental social space of the village. On the back sides of the narrow plots are the gardens and the other private spaces of the houses. At the end of the street the village continues across a small bridge along the seaside. This is where the lodge is situated, stretched on a narrow plot between the sea and the lagoon.
The lodge is nothing more than a generous thatched roof embracing its precious heart: the garden. The garden is a domesticated jungle which, along with edible fruits, provides protection against the heat, calm, a space to contemplate, as well as the possibility to be either sociable or alone. The garden is at the same time a closed interior room and an open outer space.
The structure of the lodge is made with the local “pino patula” round wooden profiles. The structure frame is strengthened by trussed elements and wind bracing in order to respond to the wind forces present on the Caribbean coast. The pitched thatched roof made by amarga palm leaves, helps the regulation of humidity, while the big volume of the roof helps disperse the heat.
The common areas of the Lodge (bar, restaurant, and reception) are placed along the seaside, where a large step along the whole length of the building connects the beach to the elevated deck and offers a generous seat facing the sunset and encouraging the social function of the public space. Two corridors connect the sea to the lagoon and enable the access to the guest rooms, grouped around the central garden. The corridors lead to a generous common space that embraces the garden and opens towards the lagoon, revealing the sun rising from the mangrove.
The facades that surround the garden are framed by 150 wing doors generating a membrane that regulates the permeability of light and permits the complete opening towards the garden, welcoming the luxuriant nature to enter the rooms. The membrane is made by a local guadua canes fixed alternatively in a diagonal pattern on a movable wooden frame. The walls of the rooms are made of „ bahareque “, a mixture of adobe and dung applied on a wooden net structure. The colour of the wall is obtained by adding natural mineral pigments to the mixture. In the restrooms the walls are covered by a blue / emerald-green stucco.
The project has been developed and built together with a cooperative (collective) of local artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the lodge started by the renaturation and the integration of the existing flora. Due to the specific climate of the Caribbean coast, the renaturation of the garden was faster than the construction of the building. All the furniture, including the lighting and the washbasins have been developed together with local artisans using regional resources.
The building and the garden reveal a strong symbiosis and they are characterized by the same, though differently processed substances: wood, leaves and earth.