Los Perros Beach Club
Local > AIABaltimore > Architectural Design Awards (AIABaltimore) > Commercial/ Industrial (AIABaltimore)
PROJECT Los Perros Beach Club
LOCATION Popoyo, Tola-Rivas, NI
PROJECT COMPLETION DATE 2/20/2015
ARCHITECT Rohrer Studio
OWNER/CLIENT Rancho Santana Resort
CONTRACTOR / CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Patrick Kearney
PHOTOGRAPHER Santa Ana Madera
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN TEAM James Suttner, Mary Judy
SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
Playa Los Perros is a surfing hot spot on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua renowned internationally. It is beloved for its undeveloped natural beauty and contains two of Nicaragua’s most famous waves, Colorados and Panga Drops. One unique aspect of this location is that the wave types can vary across the beach from beginner waves, to advanced high speed tubes, to massive swell. The program of the Los Perros project started with the bar, but evolved as needs were identified. The popularity of the beach for surfing created demand for some basic amenities for surfers including a snack bar, showers, surf board storage, and parking. The varying wave types made this a perfect location for a surf school and surf shop. We proposed two structures – a pavilion to serve as a beach cafe, and a semi-enclosed structure to serve as the surf shop and school. The owner’s original idea located the pavilion close to the beach, but out in the punishing sun. The design team proposed pulling the buildings back into a grove of nearby shade trees. This accomplished two purposes – the shade provides relief to the surfers after a day in the sun and the beach remains undeveloped. The client desired to capture a refined rustic aesthetic that let guests feel that they are truly in Nicaragua. The architect honored aspects of Nicaraguan vernacular with open louvers to capture breezes, low roof lines, generous overhangs, clay tile roofs, & local wood construction. Much care was taken to preserve the existing trees on the site. The buildings were carefully angled to provide ocean views while preserving each tree. The climate in this part of Nicaragua is considered “dry tropical rainforest”. Draught tolerant plant species were selected to minimize irrigation needs. The client has its own wood and metal working shop, which presented the architects with the exciting opportunity to design everything from scratch while providing opportunity for craftspeople in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in Latin America. Almost everything was handcrafted with local labor and materials including light fixtures, furniture, retail displays, doors, windows, & the buildings themselves. The building materials include: reclaimed locally sourced barrel tile and wide board siding, locally sourced wood, and a cast in place concrete countertop. The roof of the bar pavilion creates a warped plane by splaying each joist. The result is a structure that is protected in the back and open to the ocean while creating a dramatic space for dining. A porch on the surf shop provides space for board repair or simply sitting and watching the waves. A series of outdoor spaces create informal gathering spots. Terraces provide additional dining opportunities directly under the tree canopy, while a large grill is simply constructed with a pile of boulders. No HVAC was needed as the buildings are cooled by the shade of the trees, open louvers, and a few ceilings fans. At night, the tree canopy comes alive with handcrafted perforated metal lanterns which cast a twinkling glow from the high branches overhead.
MEDIA FOR DOWNLOAD
IMAGE CAPTIONS & CREDITS
IMAGE 1 Los Perros_high res thumb.jpg, Beach bar at dusk with integrated site lighting. Photograph courtesy of Rancho Santana
IMAGE 2 Los Perros_high res ext 01.jpg, The open bar pavilion is carefully nestled into the landscape. Photograph by the entering firm.
IMAGE 3 Los Perros_high res ext 02.jpg, The entry sequence through a courtyard frames a view of the ocean beyond. Photograph by the entering firm.
IMAGE 4 Los Perros -04 View back through site.jpg, The trees and exposed structure play off each other in the view back towards the entry. Photograph courtesy of Santa Ana Madera
IMAGE 5 Los Perros -05 lanterns.jpg, Custom lantern pendants hanging by the bar. Photograph courtesy of Santa Ana Madera
IMAGE 6 Los Perros -06 Surf Shop through Bar.jpg, The surf shop and school act as a backdrop beyond the open bar pavilion. Photograph courtesy of Santa Ana Madera
IMAGE 7 Los Perros -07 Surf Boards.jpg. Surf shop storage is integrated with the building details. Photograph courtesy of Santa Ana Madera
IMAGE 8 Los Perros -08 Surf shop Porch.jpg, The surf shop's generous porch provides a space for board repair or to simply watch the waves. Photograph courtesy of Santa Ana Madera