Drift San José / Self Designed


© Mike Arce

© Mike Arce
  • Architects: Self Designed
  • Location: San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
  • Ead Architects: Stu Waddell, Pablo Torrestrueba
  • Area: 445.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Mike Arce, Rafael Gamo

© Mike Arce

© Mike Arce

From the architect. In 2012 a run down 6 one bedroom apartment building on 600 square meters of land in the up and coming Art District in San Jose del Cabo’s colonial center was purchased with a goal to provide an upscale hostel in one of Mexico’s most expensive resort towns – an alternative to the array of expensive ocean front luxury resorts.


© Mike Arce

© Mike Arce

The concept was to provide a youthful, social and do-it-yourself no frills accommodation for independent travelers who prefer adventure and culture over all inclusive. The renovation was done on a shoestring and consisted of turning the original 6 apartments into 8 hotel rooms, a staff kitchen office and laundry, guest coffee bar and retail space.


© Rafael Gamo

© Rafael Gamo

Leaving the original structure – but removing all aluminum windows, ceramic tiles, lighting, wood closets, doors, fixtures, and architectural flourishes-.


© Mike Arce

© Mike Arce

Ground Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan

© Mike Arce

© Mike Arce

First Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

Partition walls were added, windows were enlarged, custom steel rolling doors were built, rustic concrete floors, patios, beds, and sinks were poured. In the second year a fire pit, bar, and swimming pool were added. In the third year, a hammock tower, food cart patio and event space were added.


© Rafael Gamo

© Rafael Gamo

Other upgrades included new propane, a water cistern, hot water and air conditioning. Minimal landscaping included crushed gravel, locally made bricks and the preservation of .15 seventy-five-year-old palms original to the property.


© Mike Arce

© Mike Arce

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