Nestled in the hills of Las Brisas, overlooking Acapulco Bay in Acapulco, Mexico, Hotel Encanto is an architectural wonder for the senses. The combination of the spectacular setting and the stunningly contemporary design creates a rich backdrop for light.

Designed by architect Miguel Angel Aragones and lighting designer Gustavo Avilés—who have collaborated on numerous projects in the past, and in the process created their own language of architecture and light that introduces a sophisticated use of color—the hotel is designed to provide an utterly serene and peaceful atmosphere. Each of the 44 rooms and suites has its own terrace overlooking the bay, ensuring a sense of privacy for each guest.

Avilés studied how light moves through the building during the course of the day to create a lighting design that responds directly to the architecture. “The space is painted by geometric forms, points, and lines,” he says. “Light operates freely.” Interior and exterior spaces blend together, creating areas that are semi-enclosed but always still connected to light, air, and the views. Bold shadow patterns cast across the building's white surfaces add another dimension to the crisp architectural lines.

At night, the hotel is transformed by light. The walls and floors of the more public areas—the poolside lounge and bar, and the restaurant—receive a bold wash of color thanks to high-intensity discharge luminaires that can illuminate large surface areas. Warm hues of red, orange, and yellow create dramatic scenes. Even the blue of the pool's water becomes more intense when highlighted with in-grade sidelights. Softer tones of yellow, blue, violet, and lavender are used in the guestrooms and their private terraces, and the façade becomes a patchwork of color.

Day and night, the use of light at the Hotel Encanto takes on its own sense of energy, bringing texture, surface, and material together to create a sensory spatial experience.

Jury Comments: The project captures different characteristics of light. • It's a very compelling use of light and shadow, and color. • When it comes to the color, it's not just about red, blue, etc. It's also about the contrast of white light and how these color ranges work together to transform the architecture.