La Merced House

La Merced House

Architect
Emilio López Herrera
Location
Quito, Ecuador
Project Year
2011
Category
Private Houses
Ramiro Salazar

La Merced House

Emilio López Herrera as Architects

The project consists of the extension of a house located in the foothills of Ilaló volcano. This land has a privileged view towards the oriental mountain chain, as well as to the Cayambe and Cotopaxi volcanos.


The client required several additions: three new rooms, one full bathroom, a laundry room, and a social area.


One of the main goals was to achieve a coherent integration within the preexistent architecture. Where do the physical limits of the current house begin and end? Which elements will be taken as reference? How do we reconcile these new elements to what was previously created and to the landscape?


The new house envelope (see diagram) is conceptualized by referencing one of the structural modules from the pre-existing construction. This envelope is articulated as a projection/ spectrum of the existing house, while determining new relationships between the former and the current, the interior and the exterior, and the public and the private.


The four modules of the house envelope were established by using the following parameters: -Three modules define the interior spaces (laundry room, bedrooms and bathroom). -A fourth module defines the semi exterior social area, and in turn establishes the connection with the pre-existing house.


Working with a limited budget led to essential process based decisions. In terms of materials the eucalyptus wood used for the structure was obtained from the property itself. The interior finishing elements were designed to be assembled in stages, therefore allowing the client economic freedom. Other finishing elements such as the smoothed cement floor and the Seike wood carpentry were constructed in site.


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