Arquitectura X - Casa 3 in Quito, Ecuador Print
Tuesday, 24 February 2009 03:17

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Located on a valley to the east of Quito, within an area that enjoys a temperate climate all year round. It is quite a privileged setting due to the proximity of the local mountain ranges.


Unfortunately, the surrounding built context consists mainly of colonial style houses with a total disregard for the local topography, landscape or climate.


The site is relatively small, enclosed by three roads, with mandatory 5 m (15 ft) setback, a strong negative gradient and an unavoidable location due to road levels and accessibility to the garages.

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Two primary decisions were made; to place the house on the highest fringe of the site next to the only neighbouring lot, and to consolidate and level the ground with retaining walls that act as a plinth, a typical architectural practice in Quito, which allows the site to be raised over the busiest roads and the immediate buildings, projecting the space towards the landscape beyond.
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The need to maximize the outdoor areas, lead to the definition of the 3 basic elements that make up the house:

The orange base, set back next to the only bearing wall and protecting the living spaces from the strong western sun, includes all the service areas, ground floor circulation, garages and a shaded entrance patio.
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The white bar, raised on extremely slender pilotis (calculated for earthquake resistance) containing bedrooms and private areas closed to the neighbouring house and the western sun by circulation and baths, opened to the views and morning sun, with public areas limited by glass below.

The third element encloses the main living areas and defines the vertical connections, a hovering and folding concrete plane that encloses and projects the interior spaces across the site creating different relationships with the gardens, the mountains and the sky.

Photographs by Sebastián Crespo

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 04:06