Al Borde Arquitectos was founded by Pascual Gangotena, David Barragán, Marialuisa Borja and Esteban Benavides on May 2007. Its headquarters is at 2800 m.a.s.l. in Quito-Ecuador. “Al Borde faces the practice from its multiple complexities and finds the gaps in the system to operate… Their way of thinking has been developed on daily basis with hands on work. They are quite far off from theory and highly attached to the local reality. Their projects are always seeking to enhance local development and have a high component of social innovation”.
Located in La Esperanza, Ecuador, within a deteriorated historic property, the 18th-century home has been renovated by Ecuadorian firm Al Borde Arquitectos.
“At first sight the house gave the impression of not being useful at all,” Al Borde said. “It had only one-floor plan, the brick floor was broken, the 80 square meters were dark and cold, and the wood roof structure was rotten.”
To rehabilitate the home, structural walls were reinforced, rammed-earth surfaces were treated, and doors and windows were updated. Walls were painted white with polished concrete on the ground floor to update the interiors.
The peculiarity of the house are the bedrooms: preserving the open-plan layout of the main ground floor space and taking advantage of the double-height ceiling, the architects suspended the home’s three beds from the ceiling. The access is a wooden staircase with angled treads, which leads to a deck-like platform without any handrails. Three separate stairs then rise into the individual sleeping nooks, which are also built from wood, and incorporate storage areas for clothes and shoes. To enable this configuration, the ceiling had to be redesigned with an upper bond beam and eucalyptus trusses installed every 1.55 metres. The bedrooms sit between the trusses, which are visible from the space below.
Visit Al Borde Arquitectos‘page to know more about the project!
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Photography by Jag Studio