ecuador-based studio al borde has refurbished a seemingly useless ruined house in ibarra into a modern family home. having kept the existing earth walls, the architects reinforced them maintaining the open layout of the space, and adding one little yet very significant element — suspended beds for each member of the family under the ceiling.

al borde refurbishes an 18th century ruin in ecuador into family house with suspended beds designboom
the new interior with the three bedrooms suspended from the new roof
photos by jag studio, al borde & ENOBRA



the final finishes of al borde’s completed work are almost the same as they were there in the 18th century, as the refurbishings that were done are a few and strategic — structural walls are reinforced, rammed earth is treated, doors and windows that were in poor condition are changed, and the floor is clad with polished concrete.

al borde refurbishes an 18th century ruin in ecuador into family house with suspended beds designboom
the refurbishing was done with local materials, such as bricks and wood



the old roof was not eligible for reuse, so the architects replaced it with a new one made of recycled tires, solving the bedrooms too. a new upper bond beam connects the walls, while above it, eucalyptus trusses were installed each meter and fifty-five centimeters with three wooden bed capsules built between them.

a narrow bridge connects the three bedrooms


the suspended bedrooms in a relationship with the light and the materiality


al borde refurbishes an 18th century ruin in ecuador into family house with suspended beds designboom
the relationship between the small suspended habitats and the openness of the ground floor


the domesticity of the bathroom with a sink made of an old millstone


to the street, the project keeps the line of the roof with the neighbor


the earth is the main material of the house and the refurbishment


al borde refurbishes an 18th century ruin in ecuador into family house with suspended beds designboom
the recycled roof tires and the old ceramic roof tiles


a rural and contemporary identity


in between the interior and the exterior


the site before the intervention


project info:


architects: al borde

collaborators: charlotte vaxelaire

construction management: josé guerrero

structural engineering: patricio cevallos & mathieu lamour

construction: builder miguel ramos + ENOBRA + edison marcial

location: la esperanza, imbabura, ecuador

dates: 2015 – 2017

photography: jag studio, al borde & ENOBRA


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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