Careyes is a resort in an area of natural beauty in Mexico beside the Pacific Ocean.Time would seem to pass beneath sunny skies. Here it’s all about ‘mañana’ and ‘siesta’. That peace and quiet is pleasantly interrupted by the chromatic earth tones and touches of Luis Barragán at Casa Torre. Beneath the skies that are cloudless almost year round, the architect Diego Villasignor has fashioned Casa Torre, basing his design on the ‘palapa’ structure. He won fame with his design for the Four Seasons Hotel at Punta Mita, for example. At Casa Torre he had the opportunity to give his emotions free rein. The result is an ensemble that is both colourful and inviting, with an ambience of the traditional Mexican modern architecture. Casa Torre, an oceanfront villa in a remote section of the Mexican Pacific, spends its day in a dialogue with the sun.The villa's chromatic earth tone colours react dramatically throughout the day with the ever present sunlight, creating a kaleidoscope of colours and moods.
Located in Careyes, a place known for almost 365 days of cloudless, sunny skies, the villa is perfectly positioned for its daily dance with the sun.The morning sun ignites the house in glowing orange tones that at times explode with vibrancy and compete with the flaming magenta bougainvilleas which surround the house.As the day progresses the house softens to a sparkling brownish sand colour, not unlike the colour of the nearby beach and as night falls the rays from the sunset change the house to an ochre colour with rose pink highlights.These distinct changes in chroma also create distinctly different moods, from exhilarating to soothing to romantic.
The house is one of the original Costa Careyes houses and was designed by the renowned Mexican architect Diego Villasignor, best known for the Four Seasons Hotel at Punta Mita.The house has the strong bold shapes of the Barragán school of architecture, but is topped with a large Careyes style open-air living palapa, the palapa (or open-sided structure with a thatched roof) being a signature style of the Careyes community.While most of the houses in Careyes are decorated in a typical Mexican beach house style, the new owners of Casa Torre, a young couple from Texas, decided to undertake a major remodelling in the belief that the simple lines of the house would be very sympathetic to a sleek modern interior. They have created a unique space where urban loft meets island castaway. Since Casa Torre is considered by many to be one of Villasignor's best houses, it seemed risky to even contemplate changing anything about the house, but indeed the new more contemporary interiors seem to highlight the house's modernity. Even the decorative stone floor patterns,which are from the original house, seem perfectly at home in the new updated space.
Despite the clearly contemporary ambience, the owners didn't want to lose a sense of place, so mixed with the modern art and designer lamps are a few traditional Mexican pieces from the region such as the occasional leather ‘equipale’ chair and simple, carved wood end tables. Whimsy is also much in evidence with a four-poster bed, the posts of which look like the gnarled tree trunks used to hold up the living palapa; a beach hut style curtain complete with seashells in the uber-chic master bath, and a tree fort-like rustic balcony furnished with ultra hip string chairs. It is a space that doesn't take itself too seriously and is therefore particularly welcoming and comfortable.
They have created an oasis of cool white interiors from which one can watch the colourful interplay with the sun taking place on the house's exterior walls, watch as the sun moves through the gardens highlighting various sections of the ever blooming tropical flowers while waves crash against the shore and exotic birds provide a chorus: a sound and light show of the highest order.