Slow is Fast
August 18, 2022

Hotel Series: El Blok, Porto Rico

From a distance, El Blok’s architecture stands out as one of the most significant in the Caribbean. A tribute to Puerto Rico’s post war modernist architecture, the 22-room hotel was designed by local firm Fuster + Architects as a perforated blockhaus: “Although the structure looks massive, a feeling of weightlessness prevails as the light filters through the perforated walls. It’s magical to see the light create such timeless patterns”, expert black and white photographer Simon Chaput explains. Effortlessly, a white concrete latticework exterior encircles the rooms, which are highlighted by colored Spanish floor tiles.

Set on the island of Viecques, the hotel is the brainchild of Simon Baeyertz, a New Zealand-born former music industry executive. While mimicking the once famous 1950s Tropical Modernist style that prevailed in San Juan, the building is much greener than its elder siblings: Gold LEED-certified, El Blok features locally made furniture including long bar counter crafted from a single almond tree and 1960s-style chairs built with reclaimed mahogany. On the rooftop terrace, the pool offers panoramic ocean and forest views over the quiet island. A truly modernist getaway.

by Clara Le Fort


Vieques, Puerto Rico +1 787 741 6020
© photos Simon Chaput