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Loreto, Mexico

Loreto Bay is a resort village just outside of the town of Loreto, Mexico, on the eastern coast of Baja California Sur in the Sonoran desert. The 8,800-acre site is bounded by the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range to the west and the Sea of Cortez to the east. The master plan focuses on smart, environmentally conscious development. Three quarters of the entire site is designated for a nature preserve to be kept in its natural condition for recreation, hiking, horseback trails, and exploration. The neighborhoods provide a mix of housing types as well as basic amenities within walking distance of the residents. The town center will provide the greatest concentration of commercial space and an environmentally sensitive golf course as well as numerous hotel sites are also included. The overriding goal of this project is sustainability – environmental, social, and economic. More efficient energy consumption practices include passive solar design and ground source heating, extensive use of renewable resources, and solar-powered electric carts as the primary means of transportation. Gathering spaces and other educational and health facilities will provide for the ongoing social vitality of the community. An economic development fund and job creation programs will be made available for local residents, maximizing entrepreneurial and occupational opportunities in the town. The lack of affordable housing available to all levels of staff at Loreto Bay has been increasing to a point that the developer cannot bring in workers to provide the services to its residents. The task was to redesign a portion of the Loreto Plan to include worker’s housing. The Worker's Village plan is similar in concept to the Resort, although at a much smaller scale. A panelized system was designed to create a courtyard variation of unit plans appropriate for Loreto Bay.