underground architecture: al borde's students set a shelter for parachutists in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde's students set a shelter for parachutists in ecuador

‘quilico’s nest’ is an underground shelter for parachutists, built by students as part of the al borde studio in universidad tecnológica indoamérica in ecuador. the project is a low-budget construction with low-tech materials such as earth, wood, and recycled tires, designed and built by the students during the whole semester. the learning methodology the professors applied was based on learning by doing while focusing on real projects.



designed by three students — darío cárdenas, jonathan proaño, and daniel sandoval — quilico’s nest is set in a field where parachutists depart and land. due to this condition, it is forbidden to build in the area for safety reasons. nevertheless, as the shelter is underground, al borde’s students managed to obtain a permit to build the refuge for ten people.



the project was inspired by darío cárdenas’ paragliding hobby and inconveniences he used to face on the field. when the parachutists arrive at the point of departure, they usually have to wait for at least three hours before they can fly. thus, cárdenas came up with the idea of a shelter for him and his paragliding friends to be able to worm up while waiting with a great view of the natural landscape.



quilico’s nest was set without any help of professional constructors — the students built the shelter with their own hands and a little effort of the tourists visiting the site and friends. ‘it was cool to see everyone helping,’ says darío cárdenas. ‘some guys from the paragliding club contributed economically, one gave us bricks, another brought us all the plastic we needed, and little by little the project arose.’ 



project info:


professors: al borde
teacher assitant: stéphanie amstutz
institution: UTI – universidad tecnológica indoamérica
project: nido del quilico
students: darío cárdenas, jonathan proaño & daniel sandoval
semester: april – august 2016
location: pelileo, tungurahua, ecuador
photograpy: JAG studio, darío cárdenas & al borde


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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