Swinging Design

Swinging Design

Punta Brava’s terraced residential enclaves mirror the geology around them.
Courtesy Punta Brava

If Tiger Woods continues to be plagued by injuries, he could always fall back on his real estate career. He recently unveiled plans for a huge, $100 million residential development helmed by top Mexican architects just south of Ensenada, Mexico.

Punta Brava (which means “wild point”) will open in 2011 with villas, casitas and a private club tucked into a dramatic, 264-acre coastal setting that includes a 1,200-foot peak and ragged sea cliffs. The project, developed by the Flagship Group, is also backed by former NFL and NBA owner Red McCombs.

The project brings together three notable Mexican firms: project architects Legorreta + Legorreta, ABAX Architecture, and A5 arquitectura. Alejandro Bernardi, an architect with the firm A5, noted that the challenge was striking the right balance between the heritage details found in Mexican architecture and a more contemporary environment.

The villa complexes are set within the area’s rugged coastal terrain.

“The merger of traditional Mexican craftsmanship or ‘artesania’ as we call it, with the modern needs of architectural function, has an amazing result,” he said. This look, he added, is achieved by transposing materials like traditional terra cotta with more contemporary exposed concrete, and recreating traditional Mexican wood details like lattice, shades, and shutters with modern lines.

The complex includes 39 estate lots ranging from 3/4 to 3 acres, 99 villa residences from 4,500 to 7,000 square feet, and 14 club casitas for the guests of residents. Residences are perched on the vertical terrain of the site, appearing to slide out of the hillsides in layers. With stonework that matches existing rock and landscaping with native plants, the designs are intended to ease the transition from natural to man-made environments.

the use of native plants helps blend the estates into the landscape.

The boundaries between indoor and outdoor will be blurred with showers open to the elements, and walls that disappear for ocean views. Rooftops planted with indigenous plants will create usable green terraces for the residences above, and thick stone walls will help with energy efficiency. Sustainable development here extends to more than just desert flora: Punta Brava will be completely independent from the Ensenada water grid, using an on-site desalinization plant and reusing all wastewater.

Hopefully the investors’ finances are sounder than Donald Trump’s, whose own Baja golf resort has recently gone bankrupt, causing would-be investors to sue. Woods’ future off the course appears more secure, and not just south of the border. In addition to Punta Brava, the renowned golfer has started investing in luxury development projects throughout the U.S., as well as in places like Dubai.

Oh, and the golf course, designed by Woods himself, will be nice, too. Each hole of the 70-par course has a view of the ocean, including eight shots that require driving the ball over the bay.

thick stone walls and deep overhangs promote energy efficiency.