Text description provided by the architects. odD House 1.0, located in the sector of Tumbaco in Quito, Ecuador was conceived as a therapeutic experiment and change of lifestyle for an elderly couple and their family after living in a rustic style home for over 30+ years.
Facing very specific demands from the client, the architects strategized on a methodology for the design and final product by studying Neuroscience as well as the client ́s lifestyle. This made the initial solution towards solving the design of the house easier; it made a clear diagram, and gave a design direction towards the client`s main needs. It also raised questions about overall form and language.
Design: The house, as requested by the client, needed to be both open and closed, with secluded intimate spaces (workshop, study, rooms and service) and merged social spaces (living room, entry hall, dining space and porch), creating different environments but also maintaining an open plan condition for flexibility of program and clarity of form. These requests led to a four part solution: First, with the use of an outdoor courtyard space (thematic and organizational anchor) it was possible to mark the transition point between indoor and outdoor spaces. The surrounding spaces created a labyrinth type plan. Second, a linear nave marked by a 70 cm wide exposed concrete wall was used as the main programmatic distributor and buffer zone which separates the private from the social areas. Third, the conception of a symmetrical, inverted curved roof served as the main formal expression of the house. The form of the roof was conceived as a continuous architectural expression for the program; the roof negates extremes, as a ‘mean’ (as used in mathematics) that is meant to balance the change in program as well as the human psyche through one single architectural expression. The roof is higher in the social areas, and lower in the private areas, but always continuous. And fourth, the concept of serialism is applied throughout the house with pattern in the floors (brick tiles, concrete dilatation joints), ceilings (waffle concrete) and walls (horizontal stone bars). Pattern is used in order to give every space a different rhythm and characteristic.
Construction: Every tectonic element in the house is showcased in its most natural and sincere form. Naturally finished steel columns, beams and base plates are used for the structure. Exposed concrete is used for the floors, walls and ceiling slabs. Locally extracted stone is used for the exterior façade and courtyard floor. Additionally, recycled wood from the client ́s previous home is used for the floors in the private areas, doors, and entry gate.
The Roof: The concrete roof is suspended over massive 30 x 30 cm H-section steel columns sitting over 50 cm steel plates. It overhangs 5m in the front and back of the house allowing for a 4.5 m deep covered porch in the front and a covered workshop and parking space in the back. The inverted curve of the arch and the use of the waffles lighten the structure allowing for the extreme overhang in what is a high seismic area. In addition, the slight curve also serves as a strategy to allow water to drain on specific points where needed.