felipe escudero's casa roca in ecuador features curved concrete walls to hug the interior

felipe escudero's casa roca in ecuador features curved concrete walls to hug the interior

estudio felipe escudero (EFE) explores the plasticity of concrete, a challenge highlighting the curves and textures in several scales, with its project recently built in cumbaya, ecuador. casa roca’s curved skin of exposed concrete surrounds and hugs the three sides of the construction and offers a cozy privacy in its interior spaces. windows appear from this solid skin giving birth to beautiful views into the nearby mountains.

the front façade protects the intimacy of the house towards the street, while the back opens up completely to the backyard and the views of the mountains
image © saul endara



the rustic wood framework was made to form the textured concrete, and in some areas the material was polished. those who enter casa roca will notice the calming sensations of interior spaces, as opposed to what happens outside in the dense residential neighborhood full of speed and daily entropy. here we travel to a sanctuary where rest and intimacy presume its dominance in the space composed of white walls, wood and vegetation, and of course, the exposed concrete.

the concrete wall’s hug culminates in the back facade, where all the rooms open up to the exterior
image © chris falconi



materials selected by EFE are characterized by their purity — they were treated without coverings in order to give dignity to the constructive system. you can feel how ventilation and light enter through various vanishing points, easily, subtly, as if entering a natural environment inside the house.

a covered exterior space runs along the house as it gets incorporated into the interior spaces in front of it
image © chris falconi



the living and dining rooms share a ten meters by nine meters double height space located in the center of the floor plan. the ceiling — a constant texture through the house — becomes an element of decoration, a gift of the material that shows an infinite variety of shapes.

in some areas, the concrete walls were crafted and polished in order to create different textures and sensations from the same material
image © chris falconi



‘the jewel of the house’ — as felipe escudero calls the staircase — is a curvilinear sculpture made of wood suspended in space with only two points of support. the stairs are connected on the second floor with a wooden bridge that separates the master bedroom from the other bedrooms. this bridge is a transition between the private spaces of the house, full of vegetation with plant pots that include a system of irrigation and intelligent drainage.

the bridge and stairs are the centerpiecese of the house — they were treated as sculptural pieces to every detail



the hug culminates in the rear façade, which opens onto the patio with floor-to-ceiling windows. when they are opened, they hide in wooden pockets and reveal the lack of boundaries between the inside and the outside. the exterior, on the other hand, contrasts in character with the rest of the house. here, where the social activities happen, the space is protected by lateral walls and 25 meters of a cantilever that isolates the space from exterior sound and wind. this is where the weekend barbecues and various festive ceremonies, typical of many latin american cities, can happen.

through a system of sliding doors, the social interior spaces can open up fully to the exterior, blurring the line between inside and outside
image © saul endara


the materials used in the house are expressed in their purest form
image © chris falconi


in the back façade, the interior spaces open up completely to the exterior, generating close connections between them
image © saul endara


the wooden staircase is the centerpiece of the house
image © saul endara


handcrafted wooden casts were used to generate the patterns in the concrete walls
image © chris falconi


the concrete walls curvature create unexpected spaces characterized by intimacy and contemplation
image © saul endara


the concrete walls take a beautiful blue shade during the evening
image © saul endara



project info:


location: cumbaya, ecuador

year: 2018

area: 550 sqm

type: residential, single family house

architecture: EFE

construction: EFE

structural engineer: luis roggiero

lighting: euroluz (fernando tapia)

windows: dimalvit (daniel franco)

original text: gabriela robles

photographs: saul endara & chris falcony


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

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    491,175 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample