Project directorEnrique Mora Alvarado
ConstructorEnrique Mora Alvarado
Photography editionVicente Gaibor del Pino
Text description provided by the architects. SITE
The Project is located in Convento (Chone) a rural area in the Ecuadorian coast, in an overwhelming natural environment where the presence of large forest of bamboo, a small creek running in front of the field and two rainforest mountains that surround the plot, became the perfect scenario to be potentiated through the project and generate the required relation between the owners and the landscape.
As many architectural projects, the budget was an important constraint. The project could not cost more than $15,000, it was fundamental the use of local resources: bamboo forest and treatment of the material in situ. The local labor ignored about the construction process with bamboo so the family members were trained in order to collaborate and also applied their empirical knowledge in construction. Another limitation was the distance and time (six hours) between the project and the architect, which demanded practicality and clear language in the construction process.
The house used about 900 bamboo tree trunks and 8 “laurel” trees for secondary structure and coating walls, taken from the farm where the project is located. In the process of extracting the material, participated the family and some local workers, which experienced different cutting techniques and also they cured the bamboo. The construction process and structural system is simple in order than can be applied in the future for the people of the town.
The Convento house incorporates traditional elements taken from the constructions of the Ecuadorian coast, to establish a dialogue between vernacular and contemporary architecture. The property is separated from the ground to allow air circulation and in case of flooding not be affected. It is a simple program that consists of 3 bedrooms, social and service area (room + kitchen + room + bathroom) both areas connected through a social space that completely opens to the environment, allowing vegetation to enter and cross the house. In this space are incorporated hammocks, a hanging garden reminiscent of "hera" field and a garden at ground level, to highlight the main entrance.
On the back of the house is located the outdoor kitchen, in addition to isolate the smoke produced by cooking activity, maintaining the manabitan housing tradition. In Grandma's room appears a small terrace allowing visual connection with a bamboo area, adjacent to housing. Finally, a system of windows and folding doors is used which allow various configurations depending on the opening level of privacy, use, time and level of inner – outside relationship that users required, creating a changing and dynamic space.