Architects: FB estudio
- Area: 230 m²
- Year: 2019
Manufacturers: Aserrio San José, Ladrillos Malacatos
Lead Architects: Freddy Bonilla, María Alejandra Ortíz
- Construction Resident: Ernesto Veintimilla
- Structural Calcutation: Patricio Cevallos Salas
- Illustration And Floor Plan Drawing: Belén Oviedo
- City: Malacatos
- Country: Ecuador
Text description provided by the architects. What is vernacularism, but the knowledge transmitted in time and translated into space? In the constructive case, taking advantage of the materials available in the area and adapting them to the architecture that responds to the needs of the users.
Casa Cóndor responds to the architectural program of receiving, hosting, cooking and living. The house is located in one of the valleys of Loja, Ecuador (Malacatos) with a warm climate and periods of intense rain. It is implanted on a family lot of 0.2 hectares, where there was a precarious house made of adobe, wood, tile and tejuelo floors. We decided to "recycle" it, dismantling it adobe by adobe and tile by tile. The rural environment is marked by tapia, bahareque and adobe houses. The bricks are manufactured in the town of Malacatos, where the local workforce still has the knowledge to build with these traditional systems. We opted for a structure of clay and wood, masonry of adobe, bahareque, reed, brick (in humid areas) and a tile roof, using recycled materials from the old house. The doorways and terraces predominate in Casa Cóndor, since being outdoors and enjoying the views are fundamental requirements of the program proposed by the family.
On the ground floor, the buttress system of C-shaped walls distributes the social area with the living room of double height and the kitchen, and the intimate area with two bedrooms, which in turn can be joined into one by opening their sliding doors. All of these spaces are accessed through the surrounding portal of the house. Two trees that were already growing on the lot were taken into account in the distribution of the house. The top floor houses a suite, a laundry room and a terrace with views of the surroundings and the living room. The masonry is made of bahareque, reed and bamboo found in the sector and harvested specifically for this project by one of the constructors.
The recycled tile roof of the ground floor is supported by a wooden structure formed mainly by two large trusses that rest on the walls and posts, protecting the doorways and forming a double height in the living room and master bedroom. On the top floor, the gable roof protects the suite and thanks to its funnel shape it collects rainwater that feeds a pond where domestic animals drink (chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, etc.).
The particular character of the suite and its wing-shaped roof also provides a space between its wooden trusses that generates the upper windows at 30º looking up at the sky, a feature that gives the project its name. There are three bathrooms, one was already built and was adapted to the new design. Brick was used in order to avoid risks with humidity. The bathroom facilities are connected to a biodigester that processes the wastewater for subsequent irrigation of crops. Baked clay tiles were used for the floors, made to measure for the project in the area. The same tiles were also used in the slab as a base for the layer of reinforced concrete, visible in the mezzanine from the ground floor.
The wooden doors and built-in furniture were also designed by the studio. However, some bathroom doors were recycled from outside donors. Subsequently, the owners built the barbecue area attached to the rear facade of Casa Cóndor.
Casa Cóndor is a project that has excited us and given us the certainty that the vernacular knowledge of the land is and continues to be effective and powerful. The challenge is to continue transmitting it, improving it and applying it to demonstrate its perpetuity.