Less is More at Casa J

In Architecture & Design by Suzanne Koch

“It reminded me of Baja and Cabo San Lucas 40 years earlier.” The place John Van Dyke is talking about is Cabo Corrientes, a city just two hours southwest of Puerto Vallarta and the site of Casa J, a minimalist house that melts into the desolate surroundings. Located on the Pacific Coast, Casa J at Chachalaka was designed by owner-architect Van Dyke, who is a Seattle-based designer and award-winning graphic designer that discovered the pristine landscape nearly ten years ago. Encompassed by practically untouched miles of beach and the looming Sierra Madre mountains, Casa J uses its surroundings to its advantage to create a unique and peaceful experience.

Perched 50 feet above the beach, Casa J’s structure is one of simplicity, incorporating the stretching horizon and Mexican sunshine into its aesthetically pleasing design. Clean, straight lines; neutral colors and expansive views all play into the ambiance of the home whose design takes a “horizontal” approach with the pool, the stairs, the window sills and lintels and even the roof all without curves, mirroring the ocean’s horizon, the main view from the home. Even the furniture was custom made to compliment the design of Casa J.


Inspired by the Mexican architect, Luis Barragán and working with Puerto Vallarta-based TW Arquitectos, Van Dyke’s design includes a stonewalled entrance hall, concrete structural columns, adobe brick infill and a large living area that morphs into a terrace, eventually stretching into the rectangular pool. The house also features natural ventilation, recycled rainwater and greywater and twelve out-of-view rooftop solar panels that help generate more than enough power for the house.


For more information, visit: casajmexico.com

Photos: Courtesy of John Van Dyke

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