On The Sea of Cortez


The Sea of Cortez is one of the most fascinating and mysterious places on earth with its crystal clear water pierced by sculptural volcanic islands, white sand beaches, vast marine diversity and incredible sunrises and sunsets. The primordial environment, surrounded by the surprisingly wild and untamed desert, beckoned to Lynn and Leason Pomeroy. The brothers, both architects, decided to build their vacation house in the remote setting of Las Cruces, which lies 1,000 miles down the Baja California peninsula at a place long considered by the Hollywood elite to be the ultimate getaway spot. Located 45 minutes over a rough dirt road from the capital city of southern Baja California, La Paz, the building site presented logistical problems. But even more challenging were the differences in construction technology and methodology, the unskilled labor force and the cultural differences between the United States and Mexico. Pomeroy describes his family's attachment to Mexico, how they came to Las Cruces and how he and his brother think about context when designing a building. It is a personal story that speaks to the many aspects of designing and building a house in a foreign country-as well as to the problems and frustrations the brothers faced and the perseverance required to complete their vision of a contemporary Mexican house. Friendships, even a new partnership, grew out of the close contact between the brothers and their young Mexican contractors, who at times became equally frustrated with the ineptness of their suppliers and their own labor force. Just as the house was nearing completion, a hurricane headed up the Baja peninsula which caused mass evacuations along the east coast and inflicted severe damage to the new house. Not to be deterred, the Pomeroy's repaired the damage and finally occupied the house. The first event at the new house was a wedding party for close friends that served as a perfect beginning for this beautiful new house by the sea.

Lynn Pomeroy is a fellow in the American Institute of Architects and has practiced architecture for more than 40 years in the United States and Asia. His design work has been published in professional journals and has received over 100 awards for design excellence. He has taught architectural design and urban design at the University of Hawaii and interior design at California State University, Sacramento. He resides in Northern California.