This curvaceous lantern houses a super casual, paired back to basic comforts, hotel with only 23 rooms. Now that’s mini boutique chic! El Bloc hotel, on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico is designed by local firm, fuster + architects specialising in sustainable architecture.
Lil ol El Bloc unashamedly celebrates, the qualities of concrete construction with all its with natural irregularities. It’s a tad Le Corbusien with its gentle geometric curves, piloti, textured surfaces and controlled insertions of natural light. The 23 rooms surround an oval atrium and the roof has an infinity pool and views of the sea and Vieques’s mountainous interior. The honest expression of the enclosure and structure continues through the internal spaces, with little need for interior application. The rough lux of El Bloc’s shell permeates organically with its naturally textured, curves created by timber slat formwork. The entire second floor is a single open-air space that flows from reception to bar to restaurant, designed to encourage relaxed socializing.
Splashes of colour in the rooms, softens the wall textures and the unceremoniously basic room amenities reminds the visitor to live simply and enjoy Island life. Sarong, swimmers, thongs, sunnies, hat….I’m ready! The wonderfully dappled light entering through the perforated glass reinforced concrete (GRC) shutters, glorify what is the lux of these rooms – a sense of space! Who needs a hotel room stuffed with furniture you may never use?
I like the way their website boasts “Dramatic Views form every room”. and . . “Please note: El Blok cannot accommodate children under the age of sixteen”…….YES! Kids are cute, but.. . .
El Blok is part sculpture, part oasis on Vieques, with its Impossibly serene far flung beaches, great restaurants and only a few hotels. Chef José Enrique’s, a San Juan native was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2014, is almost singlehandedly revolutionizing modern Puerto Rican cuisine.
The typical floor plan has a fascinating and compact organization around the central void, minimising corridors and its physical footprint. It sits on a lot previously occupied solely by one house and itis designed to maximise natural light and ventilation, hence less service requirements, helping the ecological footprint.