This circular community hub in Mexico is inspired by the ‘cenotes’ of the Yucatan rainforests

The ‘cenotes’ of Tulum, Mexico are quite iconic and proclaimed by now. These timeless wells are natural pits or sinkholes that are created when limestone bedrock collapse, in turn exposing groundwater. Considered mystical and magical, these wells populate the depths of the Yucatan rainforest, and were considered sacred to the ancient Maya civilization. And these mysterious water bodies have inspired ‘ZENOTE’ – a Work-Play-Live concept designed by DNA Barcelona.

Designer: DNA Barcelona

With ZENOTE, DNA Barcelona attempts to embrace the Mexican jungle by drawing inspiration from the ‘cenotes’. ZENOTE is meant to be a circular building defined with vegetation and greenery, with a central open space functioning as the focal point of the site. “Based on these mythical elements, we developed a project that emerges from the forest, a circular building crowned with vegetation that embraces a central open space full of vegetation that houses the common areas and a large central pool. The façade emulates the colors of the geological cuts that appear in the cenotes, creating a concept of Biophilic Architecture, one of the pillars for DNA Barcelona,” said the studio.

ZENOTE is meant to be a 21,942.45 sqm complex that consists of eight residential buildings, each including four floors. The first floor will house a shopping area, bar-restaurant, beach club, community pools, a swim-ups on the rooftop. The other three storeys will hold 129 apartments with two, three, or four rooms, as well as a huge terrace, private jacuzzi, and loads of vegetation. All the entrances are secured and provided with a 24-hour concierge service. ZENOTE functions as a circular community hub with a ‘cenote’ placed in the center, which allows a harmonious connection with Yucatan nature.

ZENOTE can be considered a cocoon, since it has a rather unique micro-climate of its own, which reduces hot temperatures, and allows cross-ventilation without using any kind of air conditioning system. “DNA presents its relevance in the concept of sustainability, respecting the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the fauna, contributing to the use of natural materials specifically from the Yucatan region, which minimizes the impact of construction and waste generation. The concept of water harvesting is also respected and represents a recovery of river water. DNA’s goal is to find the balance between mind-body-soul to provide a true escape from everyday life, leaving you to enjoy the Mexican lifestyle,” DNA concluded.