nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions

Pablo Vallejo builds Casa Llona in tropical Ecuador landscape

 

Nestled in the mountainous region of Pichincha in Ecuador, Casa Llona was designed by Pablo Vallejo and David Ribadeneira to accommodate the region’s adverse climatic conditions. Surrounded by lush tropical biodiversity and threatened by heavy rains and high humidity, the structure uses steel and wood to create a durable cabin with a minimal carbon footprint. The house has a permeable character with a unique climatic behavior that allows air to passively dissipate through openings in the lower and upper walls. The result is a living environment that is comfortable in both a general and environmental sense, allowing residents to enjoy daily life to the fullest.

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions
Casa Llona settles within the mountainous region of Pichincha in Ecuador | all images courtesy of JAG Studio

 

 

a lightweight yet durable cabin

 

Casa Llona is found in the middle of the cloud forest in the tropical mountains of the Chocó, a habitat located in a hostile environment characterized by difficult climatic and geographic conditions and natural threats.

 

With this in mind, Pablo Vallejo and David Ribadeneira chose a materiality palette that takes advantage of industrial elements such as steel to create a robust structure that ensures an optimal balance between user comfort and the environment. Likewise, the architect chose materials that do not require finishing or constant maintenance. Plywood is used for its structural and functional properties, while walls made of plaster and cardboard form a lightweight but strong and resistant cabin. The goal is to achieve a low carbon footprint with a construction that does not consume much water or generate waste, without resorting to external formwork or fillings, and that compares favorably with other types of construction such as industrialized wooden structures or rustic wood.

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions
walls made of plaster and cardboard form a lightweight, yet strong and resistant cabin

 

 

the importance of the porch in Casa Llona

 

The natural adversity of the region suggests that a proper way of life in it is possible only if the house balances the insulation of internal activities against humidity and tropical threats, especially insects. However, this insulation must create a period of time in which to be outdoors, without complicated spatial mechanisms, but rather using proven strategies such as the porch. The porch, whose traditional climate strategy was developed in the Mediterranean region for a ‘hot-dry’ climate, is used in Ecuador to create transitional spaces, mainly between the public and private spheres.

 

In Casa Llona, the porch has the same goal: To create comfort and environmental enjoyment. Its spatial use is traditionally applied as a single-story cantilever that creates a shaded space on the facade to which it is attached. In this project, the cantilever was modified to work with the general roof, creating a double-height porch that also protects the house. It keeps the rain off the glass facade while allowing full illumination of the house to pass through, an important measure in a climate where fog often rolls in.

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions
the roof protects the house by keeping the rain off the glass facade while allowing the illumination of the house

 

 

achieving interior comfort

 

The climate strategy of the interior is given by the continuity of the volume of indoor air. The bedrooms are not closed by walls. Therefore, the upper strip remains open, so that the indoor air is renewed passively and through openings in the lower and upper walls. In addition, the house has a very high thermal insulation. This is partly due to the fact that the shell consists of a floating floor slab, which allows the circulation of soil moisture. This blocks capillarity, which is accompanied by a floating base piece that also supports the edge of the walls, which are made of three layers of plaster, cardboard (inside) and fiber cement (outside). 

‘We must remember that the problem inside is not the cold, but the humidity that dissipates with cross ventilation, which is achieved with wall openings and the replacement of windows and doors. A strategy that does not use any mechanical or electrical mechanism for air replacement.’ the architects explain.

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions
the structure allows air to passively dissipate through openings in the lower and upper walls

casa-llona-pablo-vallejo-david-ribadeneira-designboom-full-01

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions
the result is a living environment that is comfortable in both a general and environmental sense

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions

nestled in the tropical ecuador landscape, casa llona responds to adverse climatic conditions

casa-llona-pablo-vallejo-david-ribadeneira-designboom-full-03

project info: 

name: Casa Llona
architects:
Pablo Vallejo and David Ribadeneira
location: Ecuador

ARCHITECTURE IN ECUADOR (84)

JAG STUDIO (17)

PASSIVE HOUSES (18)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS (3029)

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