- Area: 125 m²
- Year: 2021
Photographs:Isabel Delgado, Chris Falcony, Oscar Velasco
Manufacturers: Autodesk Media and Entertainment, El contactor, FV Andina, Objekt1, Robert McNeel & Associates, Vitrum
Lead Architects: José López, Daniel Romero, Dennis Sola
- Country: Ecuador
Text description provided by the architects. The beginnings of the project´s development were characterized by our early trips to the site, the analysis of our memory, observations, and imagination. This informed the team of several deformations that local buildings have developed through time and climatic conditions. Our observations lead us to define the presence of something attached to the local people´s way of living which we needed to transmit. It made the team realize that the house should always remain folded onto itself as if time would define its existence by the possibility of the house´s eventual collapse. A house that could decay gracefully or that has already begun its decay process. The result of this close examination resulted in a poem that was revised/corrected or /completed/ with pictures recollected from local buildings, references, and hand drawings. These opaque objects were used as the main framework in the design process.
The site is a vast valley, outlined by a close hill and distant mountains. In order to create a sequential comprehension of the distant and close landscape, we devised an opaque solid which would order the overwhelming stimuli found in the place. The house frames indistinctively pieces of landscape that create a narrative of coincidences. We placed a large periscope in the center of the main room to further enhance the fragment comprehension of the landscape as well as to introduce time through light inside the house. The interior then made the landscape appear and not the other way around.
To formulate the initial layout of the building we drew Miralles´and Pinos´ Kolonihaven´s original plan repeatedly until our reproductions started to deviate from it and relate to our requirements. It was a process of inquiring about our or (their) layout with what we needed in a process of redrawing out of memory and repetition. All spaces were defined through their proximity to the ceiling, and the uses of every room were then assigned understanding scale and domesticity.
The project resulted in a solid defined by several types of dissimilar elements /or fixations/ such as the mask placed in the entrance ramp which reminded us of the ephemeral condition of local houses enclosures, the platform that extends the main room to the distant hill or the periscope that sometimes works as a lighthouse for visitors up in the mountain. It was constructed by local craftsmen who developed the project through everyday techniques and local skills with steel, and locally sourced materials such as charred cypress wood, concrete blocks, and concrete. In the final stages of construction, we started to think of it as a creature rather than a house.