OVERLOOKING Guatemala City to the west and within walking distance of the bustling Paseo Cayalá, Ramblas de Cayalá is a peaceful residential quarter designed by Leon Krier and Estudio Urbano and completed in 2015. Beguiling housing options and parks make up this district that includes a 103-acre natural preserve. Determined to provide a secure, pleasant, pedestrian-oriented way of life that creates happiness, and in turn a positive contribution to society, Estudio Urbano has created a residential idyll.

As in the commercial district, Paseo Cayalá, the boulevards, streets, and squares of Ramblas de Cayalá are paved with cobbles and flagstones to reinforce that the automobile is secondary to pedestrians. The buildings are charming — intimately-scaled single or two- or three- story family houses, townhomes, attached multi-family condos and apartments — and are pleasingly arranged along the streets. Finished in plaster over concrete block, the structures are supported by concrete frames adapted to ensure robust exterior walls and deep reveals in door and window openings. Vertical alignments of surfaces are consistent with traditional Guatemalan masonry techniques while porticos, loggias, and balconies are used liberally to take advantage of the climate and views. Green spaces and parking options are shared among neighbors and wooden elements such as doors, gates, and screens provide privacy as well as visual interest.

The coherence of scale and the beauty of the Ramblas de Cayalá neighborhood powerfully contribute to the ongoing development of Cayalá and return residents to a way of life nearly lost. Traditional town planning such as this encourages people to walk and dramatically contrasts with the uncompromising anti-social uniformity found in many contemporary residential developments. The combined effect of Estudio Urbano’s thoughtful, well-researched precedents and thorough understanding of human needs has thoroughly transformed lives at Ramblas de Cayalá.


Master Plan: Léon Krier and Estudio Urbano
Architecture: Pedro Pablo Godoy Barrios, María Sánchez, Estudio Urbano.
Landscape Design: Marc Landers
Construction Documents: Grupo Cayalá
Developer: Grupo Cayalá
General Contractor: Grupo Cayalá