Architect in ChargePaúl Vazquez Espinoza
The project has 145 square meters on two floors and a terrace. The building location is an important factor because it is on the lower side of Turi, a natural viewpoint of the city of Cuenca-Ecuador where there were some retaining stone walls from a destroyed and abandoned construction. These walls were originally raised to stop the gradient of over 30% of the natural slope, which is why they are included as part of the formal and structural design.
The purpose was for building a small detached house, with basic functional spaces for everyday life, with a local and contemporary language.
The design refers to vernacular materials; we have used dry stone walls, located where the original walls of the previous construction were, the roof structure made entirely of exposed wood clad in unglazed handmade tile and carrizo pambil on the ceiling, adobe prepared in blocks to clad some walls and as mud plastering for others. This sort of traditional materials incorporated into the architecture confer the popular warmth of local buildings and simultaneously engage a project of contemporary features with large glass surfaces that dominate the north facade, with a complete view of the city.
Other more contemporary materials have been added, such as ceramic floors with traditional motifs of hydraulic tiles to accentuate the style, the glass in the interior wooden staircase that contrasts due to its modern appearance, natural wood doors with decorative rivets in iron, raw iron railings and of course the decorative pieces of furniture that have been carefully selected to emphasize the dialectical style between the traditional and the contemporary.
The spatial distribution is quite simple. Due to the topography, the main entrance is located on the top floor and can be reached by a grand stone staircase that externally connects the two levels of the project. Before entering there is a pergola terrace to enjoy the view and with it the wooden door that leads into a hallway that connects to the bedroom hall on the same level and the glass staircase that leads to the social area on the lower floor.
The upper floor has two bedrooms facing north, with wood floors, and an adjacent full bathroom. The bedrooms are separated through a closet cabinet with two fronts; the city view is not the only attraction of these spaces, if we look up we see the craft construction of the roof and its wood assemblies; all these areas are accessed through an exhibition hall that is lit and ventilated through a window that looks directly into one of the retaining walls. This view may seem unattractive, however it is totally entertaining to see the moss between the rocks and on rainy days the drops falling like a waterfall filtering through the vegetation. The exhibition displayed is a very special collection of old radios belonging to the owners of the house. On the ground floor is the living and dining in a single room, a guest bathroom and kitchen, all communicated through a corridor that runs parallel to the facade and thus enjoys the visual spectacle of the entire city at its feet. The entire floor of this level is ceramic.
As for the exterior spaces, we have maintained the landscape of the mountain, preserving all species of trees and adding others belonging to the area.