Many consumer-facing technologies follow a distinct arc in their physical designs. When technologies are in their infancy, like early cell phones, they are generally functionally built to provide the new service as effectively as possible.
From there, functional designs transition to conspicuous designs and features. As the new technology becomes more commonplace, competition drives a more eye-catching product. The cell phones of the late 90s and early 2000s are one example, which tended towards excessive gadgetry.
Tracing this trend of design through cell phones
As the novelty of a new item like the cell phone wears off, the next phase tends to be towards simplicity and compact designs, like the smartphone.
The final phase of design is integration, in which technologies merge into existing infrastructure and style in an attempt to become nearly invisible, like the recent advent of the smart watch.
These design tendencies extend to more than just consumer technologies as well. Both urbanism and architecture can at times follow these same arcs of new functionality, conspicuous design, simplification, and finally integration of new technologies. The process takes longer, but can be traced all the same.
For example, many urban planners responded to the automobile first with functional streets. The next phase was suburbs built entirely around cars. Suburbs were then followed by attempts to reduce excessive construction of roads, and integrate cars back into human-focused city life.
Las Catalinas presents one interpretation of the final phase of car-centric design, which is to keep them entirely out of sight and out of mind. This has resulted in the way of life present in town today, one which most people who visit and live here vastly prefer.
For architecture and home-building, this process of iteration is constantly happening as new technologies integrate into everyday life. However, due to the permanence of homes, design choices made around the newest technology can go out of date relatively quickly.
Homes in Las Catalinas are built first and foremost in a timeless tropical traditional style, upon which technology and infrastructure are integrated
Due to the vision of town’s permanence as an unprecedented car free town, town planners implemented a system of architectural guidelines, urban planning, and design and construction quality designed inspired by the timeless tradition of the world’s favorite places.
By drawing from the learnings of what has lasted for centuries both in architecture and urbanism, but allowing flexibility in construction and town design, Las Catalinas is able to adapt to modern times with world-class infrastructure, while at the same time providing a place built upon a history of people-centered, beautiful towns.
Beauty, Charm, and First Rate Infrastructure
Many of the world’s oldest, most beautiful towns like Rome, Paris, Kyoto, Marrakesh, Buenos Aires, Cartagena, and more were built long before the advent of the automobile or electricity, and they remain relevant in modern times.
This speaks to a timelessness of these old places, which have managed to integrate modern infrastructure and comfort smoothly, without losing the beauty, history, and culture that defines them.
A home that would not look out of place hundreds of years ago, built with the cutting edge of modern technology
As a town being built from scratch, Las Catalinas has been able to draw influences from traditional styles to ensure a timeless beauty, but has also been able to smoothly integrate modern infrastructure to feature the comforts and connections of a gateway city.
Las Catalinas is a place deeply integrated with nature, yet has high speed data coverage from trail top to beachfront. Town is small and walkable, richly designed, but is powered by sustainable energy, features hydrogen-powered cars, and has redundant fiber-optic internet. This is vision -- to maintain a timeless beauty, connection to nature, and car-free living while at the same time welcoming connection to the rest of the world that is built on cars -- is on the pioneering edge of a new wave of urbanism.
A spot where it's possible to take in the view of the forests and the ocean, check Strava, and plot the next route with a friend
The result is a place where healthy living in touch with nature and each other can exist in the same place as the connections and comfort of a modern town.
A Different Way of Life
The blend of vibrant lifestyle and infrastructure in Las Catalinas helps facilitate a way of living where it’s easy to connect with yourself, nature, and others while remaining connected to work or home.
The ability to stay connected if needed means that a trip to Las Catalinas can fit into a busy lifestyle
In Las Catalinas, it’s common to bump into friends around town fitting in a ride on the trails just hours before an international flight, or jumping in the ocean to celebrate take a quick break from work. A classically designed home can learn to keep your home cool based on your schedule, and host the technology to stream family movies under the stars in 4k ultra HD.
This combination of tropical traditional beauty and cutting edge functionality makes it possible to spend a weekend, a week, a month, or even longer in a town where life is different and new without missing a step back home.
This influence can be seen throughout 229, Baranda, and BonVivant, the three brands of the Las Catalinas Collection. Whether visitors are seeking a beach destination at the end of an ecotour through the country, a modified sabbatical visit, or a lively and welcoming version of a luxury stay, the atmosphere of a tropical destination coincides with real, grounded functionality. It’s one of the best parts of town: location steps from the beach, a townscape of beautiful buildings, and everything works.
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