The Encanto Hotel by Taller Aragones

The Encanto Hotel by Taller Aragones

Location: Acapulco, Mexico
Year: 2012
Photo courtesy: Joe Fletcher

The Encanto Hotel was built in Acapulco with few resources, economic materials, and local labor. The building tries to retain a human scale. Occasionally narrow, even small compared to or in contrast with its great heights; it has corners where only two people fit, intimate spaces that shelter and protect its guests. In this hotel, the potential for amazement is constant. One cannot help but observe each place, there is no room for distraction: common areas, private spaces, all designed for concentration and relaxation. Encanto is also a great labyrinth whose exits open out onto and are completed by the ocean.


Everything was playfully created to generate continual momentum from the sea, to compel those staying there to seek and find a way out, arriving at it always and capturing it with their gazes. Architectural works are always better off when economization prevails and the greatest possible content is conveyed with the least amount of material. To say more while using less: nothing could be more environ- mental or sustainable. The physical side is measurable, while the subjective element takes charge of the spiritual, intangible side. Both have the same relevance and must be successfully harmonized.


An architect who attends only to the emotional side makes his work into a kind of sculpture, something more akin to an artistic venture. It is very tempting for architects to feel as if we were artists, but we are in fact a hybrid that must be well grounded, that must take into account the specific needs of those who will inhabit the spaces we create. And by this I am referring to their spiritual, physical, and economic needs. Without these values, architecture is too easily diminished. Efficient use of materials, availing oneself of all the resources that belong to a construction; this is a quantifiable, objective side that we cannot lose sight of, no matter how creative or artistic we want our architecture to be.

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