el blok hotel by fuster + architects features dynamic concrete façades el blok hotel by fuster + architects features dynamic concrete façades
oct 24, 2014

el blok hotel by fuster + architects features dynamic concrete façades

el blok hotel by fuster + architects features dynamic concrete façades
all images courtesy of fuster + architects

 

 

 

the façade of this boutique hotel in puerto rico is conceived as a block of coral, referencing the form, density and porosity of the reefs located just off shore. located in esperanza, a quiet town on the south side of the island of vieques, the waterfront ‘el blok’ houses 23 guest rooms, dining facilities and a roof terrace with jacuzzi. designed by local practice fuster + architects, the hotel’s exterior is constructed from glass fiber reinforced concrete panels that act as a continuous screen, filtering natural light and ventilation inside the building. some individual panels open outwards, allowing uninterrupted views along the caribbean shoreline – a sinuous path that is echoed in the scheme’s curvilinear forms.

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
prefabricated chimneys establish a vertical counterpoint on the horizon

 

 

 

internally, an exposed concrete stairway leads guests to the second floor, which boasts open-plan accommodation containing a restaurant. guest rooms on the subsequent two storeys are organized radially around an oval patio that both references vernacular architecture and reduces travel distance. the design culminates in an expansive roof deck that features a bio-luminescent jacuzzi, while prefabricated chimneys bring natural light inside the hotel and establish a vertical counterpoint on the horizon.

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
the open-plan restaurant at first floor level

 

 

 

the building is constructed principally from reinforced concrete, with flooring covered in hydraulic tiles designed using a pattern derived from the layout and using colors native to the caribbean basin. from an environmental perspective, ‘el blok’ aims to achieve LEED gold certification through utilizing a number of sustainable initiatives. compact organization helps to minimize the plan’s physical and ecological footprint, while simultaneously maximizing natural light and ventilation. a thermally efficient envelope insulates the design, while the roof terrace collects rainwater for reuse and irrigation.

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
in total, the hotel contains 23 guest rooms

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
reinforced concrete panels act as a continuous screen, filtering light inside the building

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
rooms are organized radially around an oval patio that reduces travel distances

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
a a bio-luminescent jacuzzi is found at the scheme’s uppermost level

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
individual panels open outwards, allowing uninterrupted views along the caribbean shoreline

fuster + architects el blok puerto rico designboom
the façade is conceived as a block of coral, referencing the form, density and porosity of the nearby reefs

 

 

project info:

 

project name: el blok
location: vieques, puerto rico
completed: 2014
area: 2,211 sqm
architectural studio: fuster + architects, psc
architectural team: nataniel fúster, george stewart, heather crichfield, sadie winslow, eric barrios, luis r. albaladejo, jose pagán
consultants: juan ayguabibas (civil), fernando cortés (structural), juan requena (electrical), jorge torres (mechanical), óscar marty (prefabrication), maría c. peña (LEED certification)
contractor: venegas construction corp.
client: simon baeyertz
photography: jaime navarro, simon chaput, dianne puliza, nataniel fúster

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