casa lasso by RAMA estudio is built from rammed earth in rural ecuador

casa lasso by RAMA estudio is built from rammed earth in rural ecuador

RAMA estudio constructs the ‘casa lasso,’ situated in a rural district of ecuador near the cotopaxi volcano. the passive home makes use of traditional, artisan construction methods with locally sourced materials. the five primary structural walls, 16 inches in thickness, are built of ‘tapial,’ or rammed earth. secondary partitions — with a thickness of 32 inches — are arrayed to integrate recessed furniture elements. this embedded furniture includes such utilitarian pieces as kitchen, beds, shelves, and cabinets. the house is organized around a central fireplace, ‘el hogar,’ a space of warmth and family reunion. this centralized space, recessed in section, is a point of confluence for the social spaces and private programming.

RAMA estudio casa lasso
all images by JAG studio



from this central fireplace, RAMA estudio generates interconnected open spaces. dividing walls are eliminated and a system of pivoting panels subdivides zones programmatically. these pivoting panels function both as thresholds and as thermal barriers. the house is allowed to be opened toward the landscape or closed hermetically. the twoo roof structures enclose a second level loft and balcony overlooking the surroundings. one the ground level, the social area opens from end to end through elevated access platforms. the front platform generates a vestibule while in the rear serves as a covered deck with a hearth.

RAMA estudio casa lasso



the private space is subdivided into two zoes, the first a communal sleeping space with six beds embedded into the wall and the second a double room. these two spaces can be combined by opening the pivoting panels. the surrounding land is arid due to nearby eucalyptus plantations which have eroded the soil, eliminating the presence of any other plant species. to counteract this, the studio proposes a native tree planting through a number of ‘vegetable islands.’ the islands will be introduced progressively until they reclaim all the land once eliminated the invasive eucalyptus. meanwhile, the passive house integrates solid and liquid waste separation systems linked to an internal irrigation and fertilizer network.

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project info:


project title: casa lasso

architect: RAMA estudio

location: lasso, cotopaxi, ecuador


design team: carla chávez, felipe donoso, carolina rodas

collaborators: arq. eduardo pullas, arq. diego vélez , karla velásquez, diego chaglla, matías carpio, alejandro araujo

construction: RAMA estudio

photography: JAG studio


  • Simple, but nice. I like the rammed earth technique. I believe early Nordic settlers in North Dakota used this due to a lack of timber.


    Jimmy Xi says:

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