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5. GENERAL ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

SECTION 5 – GENERAL ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

5.1 Massing Criteria.

Buildings in Loreto Bay are strong, simple forms with walls as the main architectural element. They wrap a building site, enclose interior spaces, and surround gardens and courtyards. Outwardly, uninterrupted wall areas emphasize the few openings for entry and light. Elements such as doors, windows, and towers are the main features, among which the main entry is the highlight on the street. These architectural features should emphasize vertical proportions in their detail (i.e. divided lights) and in the grouping of elements between vertically-proportioned windows. They should not create a resulting horizontal effect.

For larger structures of three or more floors, architectural elements should be designed with more formal characteristics, having a heavier base at ground level, including columns, arcades, awnings, and door surrounds. Lower stories must have a cadence of larger wall openings and greater decoration or detailing. At the street the facade should provide visual interest to pedestrian traffic and be representative of its centralized location and increased activity. It is important that floor levels remain distinctive and not visually combined, in order to maintain a human scale and be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The middle and top should include decorative elements such as cornices or distinctive tops for walls. Windows and doors on the upper stories should be smaller, set back, and not grouped.

All buildings should exhibit an aesthetic that represents the tradition of masonry construction. Even though other technologies may be employed, the expression of solidity and wall-bearing is the key. To maintain the integrity of this style, the combined width of windows and doors across any facade should total less than 50% of the wall length. No wall opening, door, window, or gate may be located closer than 24” (61 cm) from the corner or end of a wall. An exception is permitted for beach-front, golf course, estuary, and canal facades.

5.2 Exterior Walls

Walls are the main compositional element in the Loreto Bay vocabulary. They are robust in presence and play a dominant role in defining the streetscape. They feature deep reveals and are articulated by the fine craftsmanship of gates, door, balconies, and windows. The walls express the thickness of “enclosure” and its effectiveness in reducing solar penetration or thermal escape. Walls should create visual interest and incorporate the use of traditional materials such as plaster, stone, brick, and wood for detailing. All exterior walls should be not less than 10” (25.4 cm) in thickness. Plaster finish should be rounded at the edges and corners.

Garden and courtyard walls should have similar characteristics as building facades and be not less than 10” (25.4 cm) in thickness.

All doors and windows must be set back at least 4” (10 cm) from the stucco face. Glass may not be set into a wall without a wood or metal sash. All materials must have the approval of the Design Review Committee.

Fin walls or privacy walls that end at the street-side property line must be rounded or detailed to create a soft transition to a lower courtyard wall. For stone walls, wall caps of the same material must extend beyond the face of the wall by at least 3/4” (2 cm). All wall caps should be at least 2” (5 cm) thick.

5.2.1 Articulation of the Street Facade

Streets in Loreto Bay are defined by the continuum of simple, plaster-finished building facades. The experience of walking or bicycling through the neighborhood is enriched when there
is visual interest created by a variety of well-detailed, well-crafted elements that modulate the walls and add a more intimate scale. The use of architectural elements that project or are set back from the street facade, like balconies and window boxes, are encouraged to provide depth and articulation to the street. Features such as doorway surrounds, windows with Cantera stone sills, and true-divided window lights, as well as columns and door decoration, add another layer of delight.

Projections beyond the property line may not contain habitable space at any level and must be a maximum of 2’ (.61m) from the face of the building. Proposals for projections must be appropriate to the scale of the street and may not be permitted on very narrow streets, where there is interference with any in-ground services, or where it inhibits safety of movement.

Wall bases are encouraged and can be expressed with change of material, color, or articulation. They should be approximately 1:4 to 1:2 to the wall height. Wall surfaces on the primary facade should be as continuous as possible.

Care should be taken to organize the various architectural elements on the street facade, particularly at the ground level, so that it does not become cluttered with service niches and access panels that may detract from the main features, such as the entry doorway or a significant window. Consideration at the planning stage should include location of service niches (electrical, water, or gas), vents, lighting, address signs, and doorbell, or intercom. All service niches must be covered with an access panel or door. Plumbing clean-outs may not appear on street facades.

The street facade of a building should consider the facade of any adjacent building, particularly as to the alignment and finishing of stone bases and the finish of eaves and wall caps.

5.2.2 Beachfront, Golf Course, Estuary, and Canal Facades

Buildings on beachfront, golf course, and estuary properties may have openings (combinations of windows and doors) on facades at the beachfront, golf course, or estuary side of the property that exceed 50% of the wall length. In order to maintain the aesthetic of masonry construction and avoid “walls of glass”, an arcade, roof (tile or Palapa), or pergola (that is at least 50% solid) must extend a minimum of 2 feet or other appropriate and aesthetically pleasing distance in front of a window wall, including French doors and sliding glass walls, to create a significant shadow line in front of the glazed areas.

5.3 Roofs

The “Cuatro Aguas”, the flat roof, and the “Cuatro Aguas” roof type as used on viewing towers, are the primary roof types for Loreto Bay. Shed and gable roofs are to be used sparingly for accent roofs. In addition to providing architectural character and basic shelter, roof forms may be manipulated to enhance natural ventilation within the home. Proper rain water drainage must be considered for all roofs types and comply with local codes.

5.3.1 Main Roof Types

a) Hip Roof
“Cuatro Aguas” are required to have overhangs ranging from 12” to 36” (30.48 cm to 91.44 cm). Roof frames should be exposed and may be complemented by simple brackets. These roofs must be terracotta clay tile; however, alternate roofing tile materials may be allowed so long as the material simulates the look of clay.

b) Flat Roof with Parapet

Flat roofs may be concrete, ceramic tile, Cantera stone, or acceptable “green roof” construction and must be finished with a parapet. Flat roofs may be utilized as terraces and may be partially protected by trellises or partial roofs.

Roof terraces can provide convenient outdoor living areas, but they must also provide open viewing corridors for neighboring properties.

Second and third floor roof terraces and viewing towers require a protective parapet or rail.

No exposed bituminous membrane or wood decking may be used on roof decks. Parapet walls must be a minimum of 16” high, if used for a terrace, and from 2” to 18” (5.08 cm to 45.72 cm) high on the street. They may have either troweled “soft” caps or chamfered caps.

Canales should be used for venting, moisture escape, and decorative purposes and should be compatible with the style and materials of the building.

c) Gable Roof

Details must be kept tight to the wall plane in both eave and rake details. Gable roofs are permitted only in special circumstances and must have the approval of the Design Review Committee.

d) Shed Roof

Shed roofs may be used in combination with other roof types to create varied profiles and silhouettes. They are suitable to cover arcades and porches and smaller roof areas. There must be a minimum 3:12 slope for tile roofs.

e) Palapa Roof

Use of palapa roofing is appropriate in Village Edge locations only. It may be used as a secondary roof and may be pitched up to 9:12.

5.3.2 Special Roof Forms

Since most of the roofs in Loreto Bay will be flat or have a 5:12 slope, special roof forms such as domes, cupolas, barrel vaults and oculi, along with towers, campanile, and chimneys, will provide modulation to the village roof-scape and may differentiate dwellings in the community. Special roof forms may also support natural ventilation strategies. While the use of domes, large cupolas, barrel vaults, and oculi are suited to buildings in the Village Center and for homes on the Village Edge, these roof forms may also be appropriate toward the middle and street side of the property. Special roof forms and roofs steeper than 5:12 pitch are subject to approval by the Design Review Committee.

5.3.3 Overhangs

Overhanging eaves and trim may extend beyond the property line at the street facade up to 2’ (61 cm) but may not extend over the property lines of the adjacent lot.

Homes in the Village Center and Village General with roof soffits that are visible from the street must be finished flat with tile or wood block inserts.

Homes at the Village Edge must have exposed framing and may be complemented with simple brackets. Use of sticks, bamboo, or exposed palapa is only appropriate for Village Edge conditions.

Aluminum, vinyl, or synthetic soffit materials are not permitted. Exposed rafter tails must be shaped, even with simple stop chamfer details.

5.3.4 Shading Devices for Roof Terraces

Rooftop shading is important for habitable use and cooling of rooftop surfaces. These structures may not block views if they are situated in a view corridor.

Shade structures may be made of wood or masonry/plaster framing with horizontal shading in wood, tile, or mesh. Stone or concrete (with plaster and paint) columns may also be used as supports.

Pergolas must have horizontal members that run cross-wise to the light axis, rather than running perpendicular, to provide greater shading.

Covered roof decks are for protection from the sun. They should have a contrasting transparency to the massiveness of adjoining wall surfaces.

Shade structures may incorporate operable vertical shading such as curtaining or roll-up blinds, but these devices must not stay in a closed position for extended periods of time because they may create view obstructions.

Blinds and shades must be mounted from the interior of the horizontal structure and not on the exterior or along the bottom. Aluminum, plastic, and any vertical-style blind would not be considered appropriate.

5.4 Zaguan

The zaguan is a semi-enclosed entry area and traditional element in the courtyard building type of the Spanish Colonial vernacular. It provides a transitional passage from the street to the private courtyard space and has the largest opening on the street facade.

The zaguan may be a port-cochere-like structure or a space under a second story structure, framing the light-filled space beyond the entryway.

5.5 Courtyards

Courtyards are a feature of the Loreto Bay home because of their utility as private outdoor living spaces and as a key element in moderating the climate of the home. They enhance the outdoor living experience by being an extension of dining, living, and lounge areas. Small or large, they are effective as outdoor rooms, with planting and pools, and can be designed as links between enclosed rooms.

Depending on the orientation of the courtyard, the provision of shade may be key to its usability and comfort. Pergolas, toldos, and shade trees are encouraged to provide shade but not create enclosure.

Landscaping can play an important role for visual enjoyment of the courtyard by introducing color and bird-life. Water features may provide aesthetic appeal and offer some cooling effect during dry, hot weather.

5.6 Porches or Corredors

Porches or corredors are common elements of the Spanish Colonial Style. The roof may be simple shed or hip-style covered with tile. A simple post and lintel structure may sit on a low wall that creates privacy and convenience for furnishing the porch.

Rafter tails may be exposed but should not exceed 6” (15.24 mm) in depth at their end. Eaves must be continuous. Porches may also be solid masonry (exposed stone or brick), with simple arched openings revealing the wall thickness and terraces above.

Ceilings may have exposed coffers or beams in alignment with the columns. Roofing materials for corredors may be solid or tiled, where shading is required.

5.7 Balconies

The balcony is both an architectural element and a spatial type. Balconies are used in local vernacular and are encouraged as special accents. They may be no deeper than 24” (.6m) and are usually made of contrasting materials to the main volume of the building, i.e. wood or wrought iron against solid masonry walls. Glass and metal mesh are not permitted materials. Other materials require the approval of the Design Review Committee.

Different balcony types are permitted, i.e. French (inset) balcony with interior opening French casement windows or doors and a minor projection with a railing. Projections are permitted to a maximum of 2’ (.6m) from the building face.

Shutters may be used in alignment with French balcony doors, leaving transoms above them exposed. If a balcony deeper than 2’ (.6m) is desired, the aperture should be recessed into the building plane.

5.8 Railings and Fences

In addition to plaster parapets, decorative rails for balconies, porches, roof terraces, and stairs are encouraged and must be wood, metal, or stone. Glass, extruded aluminum, and exposed stainless steel are not permitted materials. Traditional wrought iron work for decorative embellishment is encouraged. Wrought iron must have the same or complementary patina and finish as other hardware. The quality of craftsmanship should be such that there should be an absence of weld tracks.

5.8.1 Railings and Fences on Canal and Estuary Lots

For all canal and estuary lots it is a requirement to install a railing or fence that is 36” in height and of a design and color approved by the Design Review Committee. The railing or fence must be installed on the property line located on the wall cap. The existing white flagstone must be removed in the location requiring vertical support posts. Metal plates must be cast in place with concrete and then surrounded by an equivalent white flagstone grouted back in place. The only portion of the cap that can be permanently removed is that portion which is located inside the property line and, hence, inside the railing or fence. This portion may only be cut mechanically or stones may be removed and replaced manually in such a manner that a straight line exists at the property line. Any damaged or loose stones on the cap outside the property line must be restored to their original state.

5.9 Arcades

Arcades may be used to shade large windows and doorways facing into internal courtyards. Proper proportioning of arcade elements is essential. Columns must be square or round and have a base and capital or corbel.

For homes in the Village Edge (beach front, golf course, or front canal and estuary lots), columns and beams may be made of indigenous materials such as cayaco palms or cardon (dead cacti) but should not be visible from the street. Use of this material is less formal and should not be used in combination with more formal Cantera surrounds and trims.

Columns must be wood, masonry (stone), or finished in plaster. Bases must be masonry or finished plaster. Beams and corbels may be heavy timber or finished in plaster.

Ceilings may be tile or brick (vaults) or finished in plaster. Sticks and bamboo may be used in Edge conditions only. Glass is allowed where solar heat gain is minimal (i.e. shaded by a second story) but should be installed horizontally and not cause glare.

Bamboo roll-up shades and vertical trellises with vines allow light to filter through but do not allow direct heat gain.

5.10 Columns

a) Rustic Columns
Rustic columns may be used for trellises and porches. Wood posts, roughhewn timbers, cardon (dead cactus) and cayaco palms may be used. This style of column may only be used in Edge conditions.

b) Wood Posts with Chamfered Corners

These posts may be used, preferably with caps and bases.

c) Masonry Columns with Plaster or Stucco Finish

These types of columns do not have entasis (gradual tapering of the upper 2/3 of the column) and are used with chamfered corners.

d) Classical Columns

The proportions and details of classical-styled columns must be appropriate to the classical language and be correct in syntax, including capital, base, entasis and moldings corresponding to the selected order. Tuscan columns are recommended, as they are most common in the local vernacular. They can be wood or concrete. This style of column is more appropriate for Village Center and Village General areas.

5.11 Arches

A wide variety of arches may be used in Loreto Bay: post and lintel type, segmented, full, and Moorish arches. The more complex openings, like the latter, are recommended for use in special conditions such as entries to primary spaces or terminations of vistas.

a) Post and Lintel

The most common type of opening for doors and windows, the lintel should have a considerable height, a minimum of 8”. It should extend beyond the opening by approximately a quarter of its width.

b) Segment Arch

This type of arch is common in the local vernacular style, though it should be used only with its correct proportions. The radius of the segment should be the same as the width of the opening.

c) Full Arc (Media Naranja)

This is the most commonly used arch. Its radius should be a half of the opening. Simple, plaster finished arches are appropriate for Edge conditions, while more decorative arches with stone surrounds and pilasters more appropriate for Village Center and Village General locations.

d) Moorish Arch

This type of arch is often found in the Spanish Colonial vernacular. The width to height proportion should be 5:4 as shown in the diagram.

5.12 Doors, Windows, Hardware

Doors and windows are the signature of a home’s character, and the key to the occupants’ connection with nature. Proper orientation, proportioning, and shading will help to celebrate views and bathe the house in light, without causing glare and overheating.

5.12.1 Doors

a) General Characteristics of Doors

1) All operable doors must be casement or sliding.
2) Sliding doors will not be permitted on visible building exteriors other than areas fronting the beach or golf course.
3) Operable awning or hopper windows above doors may be permitted for enhanced natural ventilation.
4) Visible doors and patio doors must be made of wood or an alternative material approved by the Design Review Committee. If mullions will be exposed on the exterior face of the glazing, use true divided lights or simulated divided lights. Design Review Committee review and approval must be obtained by the Owner for use of alternative materials.
5) Division of lights must be with a vertical proportion.
6) Vertical door proportions are required. Door design will be reviewed by the Design Review Committee for function, proportion, and style. Arched or shaped doors in the traditional Mexican vernacular are to be encouraged. Any historical references must be accurate and have precedence.

b) Types of Doors:
      

1) Entry or Main Doorways

• The entry door should be a significant element of the building facade. It should be unique to the streetscape to create identity and welcome to the home. It should be handcrafted and of high-quality workmanship.
• Entry doors must be of generous proportions. A main doorway on a street should be a unique design, unlike any other within 200 feet (60.96m).
• No entry may be narrower than 4’ (1.22m) or shorter than 8’ (2.44m) and, where it is near or adjacent to a garage door, the entry door must be larger in width than one of the pair of garage door panels.
• Where an entry door is located near a garage, courtyard, or any other access door, the main doorway must be made to look more significant than the other.  The entry door may be more intricate in detail on the door itself or around the opening (i.e. surrounds, columns).
• Windows are permitted in door panels. Stiles and rails must be at least 4” (10 cm). All doors should be inset a minimum of 4” (10 cm) from the face of the stucco. Headers may be flat arches, segmented arches, or full arches.
• More detailed styles may feature an open window section above the door,  inset with vertical or fan-shaped iron bars or lathe-turned wooden spindles.
   
2) Other Exterior Doors

• Doors should be handcrafted of wood or an alternate material approved by the Design Review Committee. Handcrafted or artisan-style hardware (hinges, latches, and knobs) must be used.
• Full height doors of 8’ (2.44m), plus transoms, are encouraged. Open transoms allow better ventilation.

3) Double Outward-Swinging Doors (Glazed)

• These types of doors are inset behind the plane of the exterior walls with returns allowing them to swing out. Returns may be chamfered or straight in plan. This clearance allows for railings to be installed where appropriate. Railings should be in the same plane as the wall if the opening is equipped with shutters. These doors may be used as entry doors or French doors.
• Stiles and rails must be at least 4” (10 cm).
• These doors, if installed on the street facade, must have true divided lights with vertical proportions.

4) Double Inward-Swinging Door (Glazed)

• This type of door may be used as a French door, allowing the doors to swing 180° and rest up against the wall. The doors are inset into the wall to emphasize the thickness of the block wall construction. The height of the transoms should be between 12” (30.48 cm) and 18” (45.72 cm). Headers, if used, should extend on both sides 1/6th of the width of the door.
• Stiles and rails must be at least 4” (10 cm).
• These doors, installed on the street facade, must have true divided lights with vertical proportions.

5) Sliding door systems

• These doors may be used only in special circumstances such as Edge conditions (see 5.2.2) or in ground level courtyards. They may not be installed on the street facade and, if proposed for visible second floor situations, must be set back from the street facade by at least 10’ (3.05 m) and be approved by the Design Review Committee.
• Stiles and rails must be at least 4” (10 cm).

6) Folding doors (includes Nano Wall)

• These doors may be used only in special circumstances such as Edge conditions or in ground level courtyards. They may not be installed on the street facade and, if proposed for second floor situations, must be set back from the street facade by at least 10’ (3.05 m) and be approved by the Design Review Committee.
• Stiles and rails must be at least 4” (10 cm).

7) Garage Doors (where applicable)

• Garage doors must be paneled and articulated. Horizontal sectional panels are not permitted. Hardware and fasteners must be hand-wrought or sand-cast bronze and must be compatible in style and color with other exterior hardware.
• Garage doors may not be wider than 6’ (1.83m) for single golf cart storage. Doors must be carriage-style or side-hinged; overhead rolling doors are not permitted unless they have the appearance of carriage-style or side hinged doors.

8) Gates and Access Doors

• Gates are important elements in courtyard architecture. Zaguan gates should be manually operable, inward swinging and be made of wood or metal. Designs should be based on traditional Spanish Colonial vernacular.

5.12.2 Windows

a) General Characteristics of Windows:

1) All operable windows must be casement type.
2) Sliding windows may be permitted on visible building exteriors if the dimensions of the window will allow it in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
3) Operable awning or hopper windows may be permitted for enhanced natural ventilation above and below casements.
4) Windows and doors must be made of wood, steel, or alternative materials approved by the Design Review Committee.
5) Divided window panes are encouraged but not required.
6) The use of any alternate materials must be approved by the Design Review Committee.
7) Windows must emphasize vertical proportions and, in the grouping of elements between vertically-proportioned windows, must not create a resulting horizontal effect.

b) Types of Windows:

1) Casement - Recommended dimensions: headers should be a minimum of 8” (20.32 cm); sills should be a minimum of 4” (10.16) or a brick width; windows should be rectangular or arched in shape, with general proportions of the opening approximately 1:1.7 width to height, which approximates Golden Section proportions.
2) Horizontal Sliding, Awning, or Hopper - These window types must be similar in appearance to casement windows.
3) Special Windows - Special windows such as the Quatrefoil or “ojo de buey” (eye of the bull) may be used sparingly at special locations such as entries, gable ends, towers, or cupolas, or for asymmetrical balance of fenestration composition. Square windows are allowed up to 18” (45.72 cm) x 18” (45.72 cm).

5.12.3 Window Shading Devices

The optimum shading for a window is created by careful placement and deep window recesses.

Overhangs should be used on south elevations and some west elevations. Vertical shading devices of iron, wood, or vegetation should be employed on east and west elevations to address low sun angles. Adjustable louvers are effective for high and low sun angles, optimally oriented horizontally on the south side and vertically on the east and west.

Prescribed materials for window shading devices include: wood, Iron, decorative masonry, plaster in a traditional vernacular, and fabric awnings in a traditional style. Vertical window proportions are required.

5.12.4 Window Screens, Grilles, and Shutters

Except as provided below, exterior mounted screens, grilles and shutters are not permitted.

a) Sun Screens

Interior sun screens or “blinds” are recommended for energy conservation reasons, if other means of control are not provided. Various types are permitted. Exterior sun screens are not permitted.

b) Insect Screens

Mosquitoes are present in Loreto Bay and are always considered a nuisance. Interior or exterior insect screens are permitted, provided they cover the full opening. In the case of exterior screens, they must be of a type approved by the Design Review Committee.

c) Grilles

Rejas or wrought iron grilles may be used on street facing facades, which are more urban, while iron bars or wooden spindles set into walls may be more appropriate for Village Edge situations. Grilles of wood or wrought iron may be painted dark or finished natural. Metal work design and motifs should be based on traditional Spanish Colonial vernacular.

d) Shutters

Exterior shutters for privacy, security, or shade are not permitted.

Interior shutters for privacy, security, and sun protection are not considered storm or hurricane shutters, and there is no requirement that they remain in the open position when storms are not a threat. Shutters must be made of wood, paneled or built-up with exposed framing, and must be hinged from the side or top. They should have wood grain look PVC headers integrated into the door or window. The guides and louvers can be fabric, aluminum, or some compatible window treatment. All shutters must be operable and have widths corresponding to the opening they are covering.

5.12.5 Window Tinting

As approved by the Design Review Committee, tinted glass in windows with lighter shades or a shading coefficient of .25 or less will be permitted; however reflective glass is not permitted. Clear, low emission (low-e) glass is permitted.

Privacy glass at the exterior is permitted where appropriate, with the approval of the Design Review Committee, and may include stained glass as well as beveled, patterned, or faceted glass.

5.12.6 Exterior Storm Shutters

Exterior storm shutters approved by the Design Review Committee are permitted but must remain in an inactive position until needed in active storm conditions. Such shutters may not be left in the closed position throughout the “storm season” or left closed during periods when the property is not occupied. Storm shutters may not be used as security or shade devices.

Metal rolling shutters must be installed so that the housing is not visible. Any visible tracks must be painted the same color as the house.

Metal clips for storm fabric must be painted in the same color as the house. Storm fabric must be a neutral color or same color as the house and must not be in high contrast to the color of the house.

5.12.7 Door and Window Trim

Trim details should be integral with the wall treatment and should reflect the simple original technologies used to create them. Stone or wood headers should be a minimum of 8” (20.32cm) high and should extend a minimum of 4” (10.16cm) beyond the window and door openings. A continuous trim detail with a minimum width of 4” (10.16cm) to 8” (20.32cm) surrounding the window or door opening is also recommended. Masonry walls may have wood headers extending beyond the opening by 1/6th the width of the opening. Painted 4” wide accent color may be applied as a faux door or window frame in plane with the exterior wall. Door or window recessed surrounds may also be painted an accent color; however, Design Review Committee approval is required for such trim details.

5.12.8 Door and Window Hardware

  1. Exposed exterior hardware must be of the hand-forged or crafted style.
  2. Exposed hinges and decorative fasteners are encouraged.
  3. Bright brass or polished chrome exterior hardware is not permitted.
  4. Black, bronze, oiled bronze, rust, and verde patina finishes are permitted.
  5. Black is preferred when combined with ironwork.

5.12.9 Skylights

  1. Skylights should consider solar gain.
  2. Flat roof skylights must be accompanied by adequate ventilation.
  3. Skylights are not permitted on sloped roofs.
  4. Clerestory openings, oculi, and towers are preferred