Reserva Punta del Viento
Patillas, Puerto Rico
The Esmeralda Ecolodge in Punta del Viento nature reserve is an unbuilt Ecotourism lodge located in the southeastern municipality of Patillas, Puerto Rico. The Master Plan intends to capitalize on this local nature reserve. It generates from careful research, based on sustainability and eco-tourism.
The lodge comprehends 30 villas and the main building. They were designed to become an international destination for eco-tourism, agricultural tourism, and "farm to table" trends. The Ecolodge embraces the strictest parameters that define sustainable development, eco-tourism, and the guidelines of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the Department of Nature and Environmental Resources (DRNA in Spanish), and the International Ecotourism Society. The ecological resources in Punta del Viento include a unique ecosystem with rich biodiversity.
The architectural style is contemporary and minimalist. The nature of eco-friendly materials for its natural virtues shine like exposed concrete, wood furniture, recycled materials for floors, and other elements. The structures will have minimal air-conditioned areas because they are really nourished by the winds. Modules for the villas that are pre-manufactured in Puerto Rico and transported to the property will be installed on a light foundation. The "eco-towns" will be off the ground for a smaller footprint. This will create a wind tunnel that will make energy capable to cool space. Rainwater from all roofs will be collected and will also be used for treating gray water for its use and irrigation.
Patillas currently has an economic deficit and a low income per capita; for this reason, the project fosters job creation and tourism as a source of revenue in the local area. The Esmeralda Ecolodge will comply with the required building density and have a low environmental impact. It intends to harmonize the interests of the community, the environment, and the design through the conservation of the environment and the protection of its resources. This is done by integrating the local community in the design process through participation. The community will have new business opportunities with the ability to create micro-enterprises in the economy of Patillas. Some of the proposed activities include guided tours, fisheries, agro-enterprises, urban markets, and art exhibitions, among others.