2014 - A.I.A. Honor Award
El Blok is a boutique hotel located in the town Esperanza at the south of the island of Vieques, PR. Its curvilinear shapes aim to mediate between the natural coastal landscape and Esperanza’s Malecon (beach front promenade). The project is very compact, since it sits on a previous lot occupied solely by one house. Part of the design objective was to create a special place with a spatially rich living experience, provided with a great capacity for passive lighting and cooling (while also allowing for the use of mechanical cooling when needed). This will be achieved through a variety of construction elements, but specially using glass reinforced concrete (GRC) panels with perforations. Perforations were inspired on the patterns and textures of the coral reef that help to define the hotel balconies as well as the terrace level (in the form of chimneys). Some of the balconies will be able to open up (both horizontally as well as vertically) while, at the same time, providing greater privacy. The 23-room hotel will be LEED Gold certified. The facilities also contain a restaurant, a terrace and meeting spaces.