Chapter 2

Building Utopia with Tara Medina

A glimpse into the conceptual foundations of MUSA with founder Tara Medina, the history of the project’s origins with partner Andrés, LOOT, and how their vision of community is translating into their biggest venture yet.

Origins unveils a behind-the-scenes look at MUSA in a stimulating visual narrative of the project in the making. The next chapter unveils a glimpse into the history of the founding duo’s dynamic partnership from the lens of Tara, as she recounts humble beginnings in experiential projects with LOOT, and how her unique perspective of art and adventure-fuelled community is catalysing into the design and build of a modern Utopia.

“We’re really trying to create a model community, one that is being built from the heart, and takes care of everybody and everything around us. Everything about MUSA, everything about what we’ve been building here is dedicated to doing good business, doing right by the environment, and doing right by our people.”

In 2013, a creative agency and ideas firm, backed by a design and construction company opened their doors to an airy, industrial floor plan encompassing a café and bar, gallery, retail, and music venue under the sundrenched palms of Zihuatanejo’s iconic La Ropa neighbourhood. LOOT - one of the first contemporary cultural hubs to originate in the region soon became the hottest go-to for locals and travellers alike; bringing international live music, modern menus, and access to of-the-minute programming all rooted in the ethos and vibe of Mexican surf culture. Opening a second location in Mexico City in the years to follow, it paved the way for LOOT to grow into emerging destinations for immersive, multidimensional, and adventure-driven experiences that reflected an image of a new Mexico on a global scale. 

Ten years on, LOOT co-founder Tara and partner Andrés have gone on to work on a broad portfolio of hospitality and design projects, managing builds that have become signature of Andrés Saavedra Design’s (ASD) tropical modernist style, with spaces that mix raw and natural materials with a cool industrial aesthetic in shades of concrete, black, and charcoal, all accented with the lively and verdant essence of hypercolour tropical plants and jungle-esque landscaping. All the while, the pair were spearheading cultural programs for the world’s most curious, including producing Mexi Log Fest, Mexico’s most celebrated annual surf invitational, curating the first ever  music-focused Zanka Fest, and operating their multimedia gallery in Mexico City for concerts, performances, and art exhibitions.

“When we dove into the LOOT project, it really created a platform for us. From the music, to the food, to the surf; LOOT has really been a driver of our understanding and our perspective of community.”

It was the dynamic pairing’s love for the region, its surf, and the beautiful people of Zihuatanejo that ignited a fire in the duo to continue working on projects that not only championed community, but helped build it. Becoming advocates for Zihuatanejo as a world-class destination through creative activations with the local tourism board and international press, Tara and Andrés knew they had access to the world’s best kept secret, and wanted to bring together like-minded people who shared their energy for an intentional life in paradise. It’s here that MUSA, and the very idea of an all-encompassing creative and forward-thinking community, in a culture-driven, purpose-built, and town-like format came to fruition in a natural evolution in their ongoing merger of architecture and good design with livable lifestyle.

For Tara, the concept of community is simply an extension of their desire to do good, by doing good business. An ethos of protecting and empowering the people around them to think and do big is the very pillar in which MUSA is built upon, with the idea expanding to the experience MUSA is designed to offer every visitor, resident, and guest through pleasurable programming, thoughtful collaborations, live-work offerings, and the ability to sculpt your own dream lifestyle in paradise.

“A big motivation for us was to create an outlet for people to be able to move here and live here and work here full time. We want to create gallery spaces, studio spaces, workshop spaces, and we really felt passionate about the idea that, ‘why can’t you live in paradise and do what you’re doing?’”

Phase One is anchored in the oncoming opening of MUSA’s first official hospitality offering, the thirteen bedroom boutique Hotelito. The hotel and beach club will act as a microcosm of what MUSA is set to become. Thanks to custom-designed private residences, functional Hideaways, co-work studios, and areas for recreation serviced by a curated town centre that will make it a platform for future living, MUSA grants access to stunning natural adventures, immersive, hedonistic programming, and modern wellness that will lead the way for people to live and work in paradise, as Tara and Andrés have done for over a decade. Tara notes that it was simply about creating an inspiring place they wanted to live in. “We want to be around people that want to enjoy life. There’s really no other way to understand what we’re doing other than to come down and experience it for yourselves.”

Phase One properties are almost sold out. To book a site tour, email us.


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Film Credits:

A MUSA Film, 2022
Shot, directed & edited by Lover Lover
Graphics by Estúdio
Audio Mixing by Andrew Noel

Nissim - The Gaslamp Killer
Acoustic Performance - Caloncho
Solegrande - Vanessa Zamora