The discreet and modern design of the Uruguayan ocean coast

modern design in punta del este houses for sale luxury punta

A few years ago they began to settle on the outskirts of Punta del Este, especially in less populated areas such as La Barra, Manantiales and José Ignacio, residences with a modern and minimalist design where stone, wood and concrete are the star materials.

The innovative style of these houses includes straight lines, natural materials and austere colors, achieving a successful harmony with the simple landscape of the area where the extensive beaches are contrasted with the rolling meadows and the eucalyptus plantations.

The air of the coast combines perfectly with these minimalist boxes with horizontal glass panels offering a wide view of the beautiful landscape that surrounds them and making the buildings a kind of sculpture installed in the field or in the sand dunes.

These houses, or why not, small mansions, can be found along Route 10, scattered on the coastal highway that connects Punta with José Ignacio. 

Prices for these luxury homes range from $ 300,000 to a few million dollars. A beachfront penthouse in the Punta del Este area is priced around US $ 2,2.

Among the architects responsible for modernizing the Uruguayan coast, the most influential perhaps has been the architect Martín Gómez. After obtaining his degree in the 90's, he set up his studio in Punta del Este.

Gomez began designing traditional summer chalets, inspired by rural ranches. Years later his practice changed course, deciding to work in a more modern style adapted to the natural environment of the coast. His search was mainly based on recovering the style that so raised him to fame in Europe in the middle of the century.

In the 50s, the creation of an international film festival put Punta del Este in the spotlight, attracting stars such as Ava Gardner and Ingmar Bergman. People started talking about the new “Saint Tropéz of South America” and with this the demand for real estate took off.

It was at that time that several houses and condominiums of great architectural importance were built, many in the Modernist style that was in force until the 60s. Many developers also arrived with this fame who brought projects of large buildings and buildings that had little to do with it. with that austere and tasteful painting that was the spa, so Punta del Este gradually lost its architectural charm.

Martín Gómez, willing to reverse this, began to build with typically rectangular designs, built of concrete, lapacho wood and stones from local quarries and leaving them an almost natural finish since they are rarely painted.

In the last 20 years, Gómez has dedicated himself to building more than 1.000 homes between Punta del Este, José Ignacio and Pueblo Garzón.

One of his most prominent projects has to be a 6.500 square foot house called La Boyita, built on dunes and grass on an exclusive beach near Route 10. The house is divided into 5 volumes, all with ocean views.

This rustic luxury house is a clear example of the minimalist architecture that has prevailed on the Uruguayan coast lately. It should also be noted that this modest and exquisite style at the same time has a lot to do with the idiosyncrasies of the local culture; Uruguayans are known for being laid-back and unpretentious people.

Although the east coast manages to achieve such a high profile internationally, local architects affirm that the maxim to follow in terms of construction is to respect the discretion of the landscape and avoid great excesses.

Many renowned architects have presented projects in Punta del Este, among them Isay Weinfeld, an important Brazilian modernist; Chilean award-winning Mathias Klotz, known for his abstract volumes; and Stephania Kallos and Abigail Turin of Kallos Turin, a renowned studio based in Great Britain and the United States.

And some of the most innovative projects have known how to be local. Such is the case of MAPA, an architecture studio founded by 3 Uruguayan and 2 Brazilian architects, who have been carrying out partially prefabricated constructions with lower costs than the traditional average, ranging between US $ 1,800 and US $ 3,000 per meter. square.

The designs that MAPA offers include wide sheets of glass, unevenly cut wood and stone slats, and walls and other elements built in factories, which not only makes each project cheaper but also completes it in less time.

Above all, MAPA seeks to explore new forms of technology while allowing each client to reconnect with nature through their projects.

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