Entre Muros House / al bordE

© Raed Gindeya
© Raed Gindeya

Architects: al bordE – David Barragán y Pascual Gangotena
Location: Tumbaco, Quito, Ecuador
Client: Sra. Carla Flor
Technical Advisor: Arq. Bolívar Romero, specialist
Contractor: Sr. Miguel Ramos
Site area: 5.000 sqm
Constructed area: 180 sqm
Project year: 2007
Construction year: 2007–2008
Photographs: Raed Gindeya, Pascual Gangotena, David Barragán

© David Barragán © David Barragán © Raed Gindeya © Raed Gindeya

The wish to set up, the search for living in harmony with nature, the need of autonomy for each one of the three members of the family, the low budget (understood as the optimization of resources and spaces) and the phrase: “There is always another way of doing things and another way for living”, settled by her, were the starting point for the design.

© Pascual Gangotena
© Pascual Gangotena

Far from the pollution of the city, the house is set in the hillside of the Ilaló volcano in a indomitable land. It’s limited by two streams opened to the landscape of the valley. A cut in the sloping land helps to generate a platform for the project and also to get enough raw material to build the gravity walls. The waving form as a result of this cut in the land, defines the position and order of every wall. The succession of these adobe walls and the different heights of the roof caused the division of the house even for the activity or the user.

© David Barragán
© David Barragán
© David Barragán
© David Barragán

In order to get rid off the domino effect, the gravity walls break their parallelism solving the structure and strengthening the character (spirit) of every “refuge”. The furniture is worked inside the thick adobe walls. The long corridor is used as an element that isolates the project from their immediate neighbours and reinforces the autonomy of every space.

© David Barragán
© David Barragán
© David Barragán
© David Barragán

This architecture aims to highlight the nature of the material elements that compose it, promoting the aesthetic, formal, functional and structural qualities as well as the maximum respect of the environment.

Asking Permission To The Ilaló Volcano

The harmonious relation between the nature and the architecture is very important for the owner and also a decisive fact for the design, constructive process and the operation of the house.

asking permission to the Ilaló Volcano © David Barragán
asking permission to the Ilaló Volcano © David Barragán

1. Following ancient customs, a ceremony is prepared to ask permission to the volcano. There, presents and the best auguries are buried creating an energetic centre in the space that divides the social area from the private one. The house is cleaned of bad energies in the ceremony, and finally an offering is put into the energetic centre which works as a meeting point between the users and the volcano.

2. The gray waters go to processing pools turning them into irrigating waters. A dry bath and a solar system to heat the water are designed. The wood and reed-grass have been cut in “good moon” to avoid the usage of chemical products for its treatment against plagues.

construction sequence © Pascual Gangotena
construction sequence © Pascual Gangotena
rammed earth construction © David Barragán
rammed earth construction © David Barragán

3. The land like material of construction generates low impact in the projects environment. The raw material comes out of the generated cut in the sloping land. It does not produce rubbles, stores heat and regulates the interior climate by having the aptitude to absorb the dampness more rapid and in major quantity than other materials.

Cite: "Entre Muros House / al bordE" 10 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=34375>
  • moun

    A “primordial”, homeliness, modern house, which blends into the surroundings.

  • ai!

    “asking permission to the Ilaló Volcano”
    But they were already building it!o_O

    • T.Nowicki

      the volcano said “no”, but they didn’t mention it

    • volcano

      Hey !! I want to state I didn’t mean go on, don’t complain if I erupt …

  • jardvard

    it might fly away someday

  • john avlakiotis

    FANTASTIC WORK! A great example of making good architecture with low budget (as it seems). Great sense of materials.

  • Pingback: Rammed Earth Reference… in Ecuador « ExploreLab 7

  • gonzalo

    I think this a great project. The use of on site materials and local architectural vernacular is also good to see.

  • http://www.furnitureanddesignideas.com Nicolette

    It’s also a wonderful and unique location for such a house.

  • m

    This is not adobe, but rammed earth, to be precise.

  • ppto

    Chapeau!

  • Rick S.

    I’m in love with it.