Known for its azure waters and white sand beach, Baja California’s Costa Azul draws visitors from across the globe, and its residential real estate is designed for a languid world of leisure. Casa Margaux caters to this desire with its sublime balance of sun and shade, indoor and outdoor living, and private and communal spaces. This was a second shot for the Campos Studio architects, who designed the house in 2014 for previous owners. The new clients asked principal Javier Campos to enlarge the house, adapting it for use as a rental with all the comforts of home.
In fact, the firm had already sketched phase two for the first owner, who wanted to make sure the house could be added onto. This was used as a starting point for an expansion that filled out the lot. Located in an urban enclave, the free-flowing home has a courtyard form that focuses the experience inward rather than out to the desert. At its heart is an existing swimming pool, with the reconfigured public spaces—kitchen and living room, a covered outdoor seating area, and an outdoor lounge—radiating around it. To the rectangular core of the house, the architects added a guest bedroom and private patio on the west, and a main bedroom wing on the east with an enclosed garden and view of the ocean. Upstairs are two additional bedrooms, one with an en-suite bath and deck. “Because it’s a vacation house, you might want to get up and read the news without having to talk to everyone,” says Javier. “Or if people are drinking at the pool, you can have quiet time; every bedroom is given this opportunity.”
Circulation is always through the exterior, which diffuses the boundaries between inside and out and allows for autonomous coming and going. “It’s a very permeable house; there are lots of ways to get around,” says project designer Malen Fernandez Madero. “The design allows people to move around and chase the sun or shade.” The courtyard layout is also part of a passive solar strategy that ensures shading and natural ventilation. White exterior walls block the heat, and the open-air stairwells create voids that let the house breathe.
Polished concrete floors, plastered concrete walls, and textured wood doors create a minimal material palette that mimics the desert’s peaceful austerity. Mexican tiles in the outdoor showers and the living area also lend a sense of place. All these moves infuse the house with texture and warmth, turning it into a continuous space ready-made for pool parties and quiet repose.
Custom Outdoor Living Design
Costa Azul, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico
Architect: Javier Campos, principal in charge; Malen Fernandez Madero, Campos Studio, Vancouver, British Columbia
Builder: Juan Jose Palomares, Costa Azul, San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico
Interior designer: Dre Design, Los Angeles
Project size: 3,850 square feet
Site size: 0.2 acre
construction cost: Withheld
Photography: Romana Lilic/Ema Peter
All products: Provided by clients
Plans and Drawings