Edificio JacoboEdit profile
EXPLANATORY TEXT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION DURAN&HERMIDA arquitectos asociados Javier Durán y María Augusta Hermida COLLABORATORS Sonia Guzhñay Cristian Sotomayor Edison Castillo PHOTOS Sebastián Crespo LOCATION Cuenca – Ecuador AREA OF SITE 18X20m This building is located in Cuenca at 2500m over the sea level, the third biggest city in Ecuador, where the sun comes down perpendicularly, with 23 degrees of variation in the equinoxes of June and December. Cuenca is located in the Andes, where the average temperature is15 degree Celsius during the day, but it drops considerably at night. As designers, our most important objective was that the apartments could receive sun as much as possible, especially in the morning and first hours of the afternoon. Even though temperatures in this part of the Andes are not extremely low, it is important to keep the heat of the day, in order to obtain comfortable interior temperatures at night. We took advantage of the location and, considering the way sun rises and falls in Cuenca, we opened, to let sun rays in, the east and west facades; while those that face north and south were designed as a closed enclosure. The built environment around is now occupied by single-family houses but it is gradually changing and in a short period of time all of those one or two floor houses will be turned down to build higher structures. Our building is one of the first ones in the area and its appearance in the neighborhood clearly speaks of the future and new ways of living. The building has one apartment per floor, with the exception of the third floor where the space is divided between a small apartment and an office. The ground floor is occupied by the garages in the front, and an apartment at the back which gets light and sun from a courtyard facing east. The building system is quick and efficient: we proposed three supporting brick walls with a distance of 6m between them. The bricks measured 20x40x8cm and were fabricated especially for this project. To the exterior the finish was only one layer of painting. The slabs were built with pre tensed concrete 6m beams. This building system allowed us not to use columns and to have two big areas where spaces could be distributed freely and uses could change for future needs. The west facade has movable panels used as shades, these panels are made out of steel frames and wooden blinds that prevent the laundry area to be seen from the outside and protect the social spaces from being bothered by the late afternoon sun. The mobility of the panels provides different shades and sights of the building, as users can locate them wherever they want. A new way of understanding and living the domestic space is proposed. Until now, in Ecuador, family activities were separated, kids had their rooms, women worked in the kitchen and social areas where meant for visitors. In this building interior spaces are always related, creating the sensation of infinity, where families can share all the activities in a democratic way and where all members are important and have the same status. The goal was to achieve the highest levels in the building process and in the quality of spaces, adjusting costs to the local market prices. This meant that many of the solutions had to be invented because locally there are not any industries that can provide this kind of techniques. The final construction cost was 300 dollars per square meter, which is a very competitive price and accessible for a high number of Ecuadorians.