by Maleeha Sambur
Ever since I read about Fundación Casa Wabi in this 2014 WSJ story, my heart has been set on visiting. The stunning arts center situated along Mexico's Pacific Coast, not far from Puerto Escondido, is the result of the combined efforts of a formidable team of talent: Conceived by artist Bosco Sodi and designed by Tadao Ando, its 66 tropical acres also feature a contemporary art collection within a botanical garden designed by Alberto Kalach, and Patricia Martin serves as Director.
The foundation functions as both an artists residence and a haven for members of the neighboring communities, and Sodi has launched an arts education program with the aim of connecting resident-artists with locals - particularly children and young adults - through collaborative, socially and environmentally beneficial projects.
The structures (a mix of residences, studios, and mixed-use spaces) meld modernist design elements with natural materials and native techniques. The buildings are a beautifully complementary hybrid of Ando's signature concrete walls with the traditional palapa-style thatched roofs that are common throughout the region, and open-sided rooms allow indoor and outdoor spaces to blend seamlessly. The convergence of art, architecture, and nature in this particular setting - between the rough surf of a windswept beach and the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains - makes for an otherworldly and truly unique atmosphere.
Photos by Nicholas Alan Cope for WSJ