* Residential Architecture: Algarrobos House by Jose Maria Saez + Daniel Moreno Flores
Posted by the editors on Monday, 10 December 2012
Residential Architecture: Algarrobos House by Jose Maria Saez + Daniel Moreno Flores: “..not all projects have the luck or the privilege of being located on a breathtaking site..situated at the top of a valley overlooking the mountains of puembo, ecuador, amongst deep crevices, snow-covered caps, plateaus and native vegetation is the ‘algarrobos house’..designed by local architect jose maria saez and ecuadorian architect daniel moreno flores for a private family. the peculiar context posed a great challenge: to bring the grandiose presence of the landscape to a relatable, digestible human scale; as a result, the residence is based around three points: the user, the function, and the surroundings. the structure then follows these principles, with a concrete foundation embedded into the hillside setting the floor areas and dimensions of different rooms..the most notable feature is comprised of eight massive 18-meter long steel beams that overlap each other on the x,y, and z axes. like arms reaching out in all directions, the girders provide cantilevered structures from which certain parts of the program are allowed to nest, being immersed into the scenery with unabridged views. they also act as an intermediary between the larger site lines and the smaller-scale elements of the house..filling the voids between the members and further defining individual spaces are a substructure of wooden frames, whose repetition and simplicity bring the scale down one step further to delineate several functions without confining them into being literal ‘rooms,’ still allowing a direct exposure to the exterior..to complete the construction, a transparent glass skin wraps the entire construct, not only helping to insulate the interior but adds a new layer of complexity to the project in the form of angles and reflectance. the design is very much rooted in the dwelling’s relationship to the site, in addition to the owner’s relationship to the dwelling. the three dimensional planes of glazing and rooftop reflecting pools allow a new connection to the landscape, at times offering a simple view from various elevations, at others reflecting the landscape so that the hearth essentially disappears..” Astounding site; extensive glazing, natural light, wonderful views; interesting form, details, interior volumes..
image: © sebastian crespo, courtesy of jose maria saez and daniel moreno flores; article: Designboom