Architects: Diez + Muller Arquitectos
Location: Tumbaco, Ecuador
Design Team: Felipe Muller, Gonzalo Diez, Álvaro Borrero
Construction: Hernán Miño
Photographs: Sebastian Crespo, Courtesy of Felipe Muller
The opportunity of re-conceptualizing the idea of what the cabin ¨typology¨, is what made this commission very interesting. In a 4 hectares property and an orchard of trees, we had this opportunity.
The clients required two cabins to complement their weekend home, and thus enabling to share their property with their extended family. Simplicity both in the typology as well as the program allowed us to give a more conceptual and less functional approach to develop our ideas.
The main one relies on abstracting the basic elements of a home that are the “roof” and the “floor”, thus placing them in the middle of the trees that are in the site. This allows the most direct contact and primitive experience with the environment and nature.
First, the placement of the project responds to the location of cabins among the trees, keeping all existing ones, and thereby creating the most natural setting possible. This makes the plan morphology of the two cabins obviously different. At the same time the formal vocabulary and constructive ideas are the same, starting with the trees as the background canvas on which we worked. Two exposed concrete horizontal planes (roof and floor) are inserted into the trees where the habitable space between these is completely permeable to the outside through a large glass envelope.
The continuity of the trees is abstracted in the supporting structure of the cabins through metal rectangular columns that in addition to replicating the verticality of the forest, they recreate the random placement of trees and their spacing. Finally, the private areas are brick cubes that in addition to defining the programmatic components of the project, they also respond to the construction of the main house built with the same material.
There is a connection and dialog between the constructed object and the environment from the inside to the outside but also from outside to inside. Shadows and reflections of vegetation and trees bathe the different planes that contain the built space.
These shadows accentuate the materiality of concrete walls that delimit the architectural object, generating a number of textures and hues that change throughout the day.