The owners of the existing Guesthouse wished to expand the facilities. This project posed a very interesting dilemma; the existing one story structure could not be demolished to allow the construction of a new multistory building, since the Permit to operation the Guesthouse would be revoked. Therefore, it was necessary to build a new structure above the existing, without interrupting the business operation.

The solution for this project was to design a three story building, much like a bridge over the existing structure. This new building included one floor for additional guestrooms and a two story residence for the owners in the upper two floors. The building had to be designed without any support from the existing structure below, because the existing footings and sandy composition of the ground would not support any additional weight.

The Guesthouse needed a Restaurant. It was decided that the same would be designed as an open wood structure to conform with the areas Zoning Regulations, since the only space available for these facilities was in the side yard. Considering that the regulations allow for a nonpermanent type structure, the Dining area was built in wood with a metal roof.

The design of the Guesthouse building follows this tropical concept. Although the same was constructed utilizing concrete and steel, wood railings, roofs and details were introduced. The roofs for the owners apartment were clad with the same metal roofing material utilized in the Restaurant Dining Room.

The massing of the building, although four stories high, was broken up at the third and fourth floors (the apartment) to minimize its impact when seen from the beach.

  • Location: Tapia Street, Ocean Park, San Juan, P.R.
  • Year: 1994
  • Size: 12,000 sq. ft.