Architects: DURAN&HERMIDA arquitectos asociados / Javier Durán y María Augusta Hermida
Location: Cuenca, Ecuador
Area: 913.0 m2
Photography: Sebastián Crespo
Collaborators: Sonia Guzhñay, Edison Castillo, Cristian Sotomayor
Construction: DURAN&HERMIDA arquitectos asociados
Site Area: 360,00m2
This building is located in the city of Cuenca, so sunlight is almost perpendicular, with variations of 23 degrees at the equinoxes of June and December. It contains one apartment per floor, except for the third top floor where the space is divided between a small apartment and an office.
We intended for the apartments to have sunlight in the morning and evening, therefore, the east and west facades are very transparent, while those facing north and south are closed preventing views to the neighbors. The apartment on the ground floor is lit through a back courtyard.
The construction system used is fast and efficient: we propose three bearing walls 6 meters apart, each built with solid bricks 20x40x8 that are manufactured especially for this project. The slabs are constructed with pre-stressed beams 6m in length positioned every 60cm. This system allows us to dispense with the columns and have two free bays to distribute the spaces.
The west facing facade has a series of sliding shutters made of a metal frame and wooden slats that prevent views to the laundry areas and protect from the annoying afternoon sun.
The interior spaces are related to each other creating a sense of infinite space, this enables a new way of understanding and inhabiting domestic space.
The challenge is to achieve the highest standards of both constructive and spatial quality, but adjusting to the costs of the local market, so that they are competitive and affordable for a large segment of the population.