Puerto Vallarta's Historic District to Complete Six-Year Makeover October 20September 30, 2011 By: Joe Pike
On October 20, Puerto Vallarta’s Historic District will officially complete a restoration project that started roughly six years ago.
The pinnacle of the town’s renewal is a total regenerated coastal line that combines functions of authentic local spirit for living, retail, leisure, and tourism. This new space will project Puerto Vallarta’s atmosphere into a new paradigm without losing its identity. A join venture of world-class architecture and landscape firms designed the urban renewal project for the old town’s iconic waterfront locally known as the Malecón. A safe and pedestrian-friendly public space conceived for the locals and tourists to mingle harmoniously with the romantic sunsets of the Pacific Ocean.
The town of Vallarta now holds a progressive and visionary strategic plan for the next 20 years with a series of tourist destinations including the Malecón as the soul of the Historic District. The site consists of a waterfront area composed by 12 sea-front retail blocks, starting from Fishermen's Square—were the first hotel of the village still stands—leading down to the main square along the Paseo Diaz Ordaz Street. Following the colonial Spanish settlement tradition, this main plaza hosts city hall and the main church. Along the Malecón, a charmingly eclectic combination of architecture faces the waterfront.
The public space design of the Malecon is conceived with a series of strategies to claim back the public realm for the human scale. The design consist of creating shade on walkable areas with guarantee view-lines to the ocean for pedestrians. This will benefit the street front retailers and activate the public space during daytime to balance its vibrant night activity for which I has been introduce a new innovative-efficient lighting system.
The custom design for this space will enhance the sense of safety in the night time and allow the user to perceive the presence of the ocean together with the reflection of the starry skies of moonlight night. The main feature of this unique public space design is the Mosaic paving. An iconic landmark that links back to the rest of Vallarta’s identity present in every side walk and a local tradition of hand craftsmanship of pebble-pavement technique. A local native myth of creation as narrated through drawings by the Jalisco born artist Fidencio Benitez gave birth to the composition of the Mosaics pattern.
The scale and challenge of the Mosaics paving will enhances the identity of local ethnicity and handcraft, two of the major attractions of Mexico repositioning Puerto Vallarta for the twenty first century an as unique tourist destination.