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

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

‘algarrobos house’ by jose maria saez + daniel moreno flores, puembo, ecuadorimage © sebastian crespoall 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 exposureto the exterior.

 

 


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

 

 

profile extends to the landscape in all directionsimage © 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 structuresimage © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

(left) view form belowimage © sebastian crespo(right) cantilevering bedroom volumeimage © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

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

 

 

glass envelope creates reflections and transparenciesimages © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

rooftop reflecting poolimage © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 

entrance to house on gradeimage © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

image © sebastian crespo

 

 

entry courtyardimage © sebastian crespo

 

 

entryimage © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

interior stairs, concrete foundation, and steel beamsimages © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

bedroomimage © sebastian crespo

 

 

image © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

bathroomimage © raed gindeya muñoz

 

 

dining room and kitchenimage © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 

living room opens up to the exteriorimage © sebastian crespo

 

 

located in a mountainous landscapeimage © sebastian crespo

 

  

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

 

 

image © jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores

 

 

construction of wooden ribsimage © 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: 2009construction: 2010-2011construction: luis guamancollaborators: margarida marques, estefanía jácome, santiago vaca, claudia ponce, estefanía luna, adrián beltrán, joe jivaja, dennise paredes, valentina benalcazar.engineer: césar izurietacost: 290,000floor area: 338 m2total area: 495 m2

  • talk about a view! yowza

    I keep wanting to see one of the two upright elements a little shorter

    dbkii says:
  • We architects are not easily impressed with each others work, but this is truly remarkable.

    Mike Jackson says:
  • lightning rods?

    thomas says:
  • Extravagant investment and a forgettable result in an unbelievable landscape.

    Kenneth Smythe says:
  • nice use of positive and negative spaces both horizontal and vertical
    the understanding of juxtapositions
    strength to equal that of the landscape
    thank you

    Paedra says:
  • Thanks for the construction pictures.
    Very good time lapse video.
    This is quite an erection.

    Dan says:
  • There is something very very ancient about this very modern place. The interiors are particularly compelling, touching deep into a lost land of forgotten dreams in another world. And the light.

    mArkW says:
  • Shades of “falling water”, sans water, bold horizontal cantilever element that defines the deck. Interesting statement.

    nelsondreyes architect says:
  • Anyone know what units the 290,000 cost is in? Ecuador uses the US dollar, so it’s can’t be that cheap… Unless it is… In which case I’m packing my bags for Ecuador to live like a king.

    parker says:
  • This project speaks so boldly about connections, from connection of the different materials used to connection of architecture to site. Connections that are all but missing in typical architecture today. This project is pure inspiration for me. Glad to have stumbled upon it!!!!

    Dave says:
  • Staggerring!
    One of the few times I wish I was really, really rich so I could have one of these too!

    bilbaggins says:
  • Simplesmente fantástico. Belo projeto. Bela casa. Congratulations

    Eziquel says:
  • WOW. Jump off a cliff, FLW, you have met your equal!

    Max says:

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