- Lead Architects:José de la Torre, Belén Argudo, Pablo Silva, Santiago Granda, Juan Alberto Ullauri
- Collaborators:Las Manos Sucias
- Clients:Jaime Ganchala and Rosa Ríos
Text description provided by the architects. Rosa and Jaime want a new country house, to enjoy nature on their plot of land in northern Quito. The dry landscape of Tanda has been modified through irrigation systems to allow for farming; an important family passes time. Besides this, Rosa and Jaime have kept some metal trusses (normally used to build temporary tents) that can be reused in the new house. These two conditions gave birth to the project’s first intentions.
The initial proposal consisted of a rectangular distribution plan, divided into two sections. Each of these spaces was given a distinct material identity: one closed and heavy towards the back; and one light, open-faced towards the Algarrobo tree and the panoramic view of the valley. The program is organized on this sectional logic. The two bedrooms, a living room, and a dining room are situated in the light component; and the bathrooms and kitchen are in the closed strip. The entrance is located in front of the external pond, transversely dividing the social and the private area. The pond is filled with aquatic plants and uses treated waste water from the bathroom and kitchen.
The project is supported using two structural systems: firstly, a light metal structure designed to reuse all the trusses available; and secondly, a system of structural brick walls, acting as both structure and enclosure. Following this structural logic, the space above the bathroom area is used as an attic of low height, conceived as a playground area for kids or, eventually, a relaxing area. This space modified the design of the house’s section, incorporating a double ceiling system, one with positive slope (pitched roof) for the private area and one with a negative slope (butterfly roof) for the common area.
The coupling of the two ceilings is solved through the entrance hall, projected right under an accessible terrace that allows an outdoor panoramic view of the landscape. On the inside, gypsum and fiber cement boards act like the few required divisions, whereas the main façade is a high glass screen. Finally, a wood deck surrounds the façade, acting as an intermediate space between the house and the exterior. The eaves are extended to protect the deck from the weather, allowing for a comfortable space where Rosa and Jaime can contemplate nature, the landscape, and the imposing Algarrobo tree.