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jose maria saez + daniel moreno flores: algarrobos house, ecuador
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dec 03, 2012
jose maria saez + daniel moreno flores: algarrobos house, ecuador



‘algarrobos house’ by jose maria saez + daniel moreno flores, puembo, ecuador
image © sebastian crespo
all images courtesy of jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 

not all projects have the luck or the privilege of being located on a breathtaking site, this is not one of those projects. situated at the top of a valley
overlooking the mountains of puembo, ecuador, amongst deep crevices, snow-covered caps, plateaus and native vegetation is the ‘algarrobos house’
designed by local architect jose maria saez and ecuadorian architect daniel moreno flores for a private family. the peculiar context posed a great
challenge: to bring the grandiose presence of the landscape to a relatable, digestible human scale; as a result, the residence is based around three
points: the user, the function, and the surroundings. the structure then follows these principles, with a concrete foundation embedded into the hillside
setting the floor areas and dimensions of different rooms.

 

the most notable feature is comprised of eight massive 18-meter long steel beams that overlap each other on the x,y, and z axes. like arms reaching
out in all directions, the girders provide cantilevered structures from which certain parts of the program are allowed to nest, being immersed into
the scenery with unabridged views. they also act as an intermediary between the larger site lines and the smaller-scale elements of the house.
filling the voids between the members and further defining individual spaces are a substructure of wooden  frames, whose repetition and simplicity
bring the scale down one step further to delineate several functions without confining them into being literal ‘rooms,’ still allowing a direct exposure
to the exterior.

 

 


timelapse showing construction of the metal structure
video © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


profile extends to the landscape in all directions
image © sebastian crespo

 

 

to complete the construction, a transparent glass skin wraps the entire construct, not only helping to insulate the interior but adds a new layer of
complexity to the project in the form of angles and reflectance. the design is very much rooted in the dwelling’s relationship to the site, in addition to
the owner’s relationship to the dwelling. the three dimensional planes of glazing and rooftop reflecting pools allow a new connection to the landscape,
at times offering a simple view from various elevations, at others reflecting the landscape so that the hearth essentially disappears.

 

 


cantilevering spaces of repetitive frame structures
image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


(left) view form below
image © sebastian crespo
(right) cantilevering bedroom volume
image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


deck looking over the site
image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


glass envelope creates reflections and transparencies
images © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


rooftop reflecting pool
image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


entrance to house on grade
image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


image © sebastian crespo

 

 


entry courtyard
image © sebastian crespo

 

 


entry
image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


interior stairs, concrete foundation, and steel beams
images © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


bedroom
image © sebastian crespo

 

 


image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


bathroom
image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 


dining room and kitchen
image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


living room opens up to the exterior
image © sebastian crespo

 

 


located in a mountainous landscape
image © sebastian crespo

 

  


construction of the steel beams with square sockets and sections fitting together like lock and key to support enormous weight
image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


construction of wooden ribs
image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 


floor plan / level 0

 

 


floor plan / level -1

 

 


floor plan / level -2

 

 


section

 

 


section

 

 


elevation

 

 


elevation

 

 

project info:

 

 

start date: 2009
construction: 2010-2011
construction: luis guaman
collaborators: margarida marques, estefanía jácome, santiago vaca, claudia ponce, estefanía luna, adrián beltrán, joe jivaja, dennise paredes, valentina benalcazar.
engineer: césar izurieta
cost: 290,000
floor area: 338 m2
total area: 495 m2

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