House Of Water And Light La Cascada   |   Punta Mita, Mexico   |   6,800 SF

After visiting Imanta Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, the client knew that they had found the Pacific Coast experience they wanted to enjoy forever. And so they enlisted the help of Overland, who had also designed Imanta, to create a private home and retreat on their own Punta Mita property that would be contemporary while paying homage to the building traditions of the region.

Stay A While
The primary function of the home in Punta Mita would be to entertain—but not just for the evening. Guests would be invited to stay for days or even weeks at a time. In the Mexican tradition of “mi casa es su casa,” the clients wanted guests to feel as though they had a place of their own, within the context of warm hospitality.
Let The Land Speak
However, the site for the home was different in many ways than the site for Imanta, their inspiration. The narrow, deep lot was set among the low, scrubby, rough terrain of the Pacific coast point. Overland was able to work with the landscape and the magnificent views to capture the earthy spirit the couple desired, while remaining contextual and wholly original. Not only did they work with the natural elements, but embodied a uniquely Mexican spirit, according to the many locals who visited the property.
Revelations At Every Turn

For the most part, the homes surrounding the site were variations on the same Spanish Colonial layout—upon entry, a courtyard would immediately open up to a portal with a view directly to the ocean as the house wrapped around a back court. The clients wanted a different experience, both in style and movement. Overland suggested a more delayed, complex entry sequence that would help lend a sense of arrival—a series of three spaces with water features and art pieces would create an unexpected, experiential journey to the ocean view. The final destination, a pavilion lined by twelve palm trees and a waterfall, has the ambiance of a grand entrance leading to the main attraction.

“The building is a picture frame that sets you up to view the ocean,” said Overland Senior Principal Bob Shemwell.

The eight-building compound blends private and social space to host long-term visitors, with a series of six independent casitas, each with a private terrace and sitting area. The guest suites connect to shared courtyards, while the social space and master suite are oriented toward the water. A series of pools and outdoor spaces serve various recreational purposes, including a hot tub and sunset deck atop the primary central pavilion that floats above a water feature.

Within the neighborhood’s tight design restrictions, Overland designed to the very limits to create the contemporary feel that the client wanted with a greater diversity of spaces than is typical for homes in the region. The Overland team analyzed the opportunites for the project and determined it was not so much about material but about light.The team was able to use the approved materials, but relied on shapes and design to guide light into the space, giving it texture and context. The design team used stepped roof patterns and a reverse pattern on the mandatory meter-deep soffits to create interesting shade planes and contemporary lines, contributing to the play of light that transforms the house as the sun moves across the sky.