RAMA Estudio built this 350 m² 'casa lasso,' which is located in a remote area of Ecuador near the Cotopaxi volcano. The passive house is built using traditional, artisan techniques and locally sourced materials.
Several conditions are included in the proposal for implementation and operation. A passive architecture is presented, based on traditional and artisan labor. The utilization of local materials or resources from adjacent places, as well as employees from the zone, allows us to foster the learning and practise of Cotopaxi's creative vernacular systems.
The materiality inspired the design of the dwelling. The roof is supported by "TAPIAL" monolithic rammed earth pieces. There are five Tapial supporting walls situated longitudinally in the land, totally shutting the home from the harshest winds and creating a blind facade that improves the thermal condition of the building. The walls are 40 cm wide, with buttresses 80 cm broad organized in accordance with the structural and utilitarian analysis of furniture recessed into the walls. The furniture is incorporated into the wall using the gaps between the buttresses, embedding practical components such as kitchens, beds, shelves, cupboards, and so on.
The fireplace defines the home as a place of warmth and family gathering. This center room serves as the meeting place for all circulations and the heart of the home, connecting the resting area to the social area. The fireplace is the lowest point in the home; it is lowered to emphasize the concept of "embrace."
From this point on, the home produces open areas that are integrated with one another; there are no dividing walls. A pivoting panel system is utilized to separate zones based on the unique usefulness of the moment that the family requires.
The pivoting panels serve as a wall, a door, a security barrier, and a thermal barrier. They enable you to open the home completely to the land and seal it in a hermetic manner if necessary. The two-sloped roof is supported by two wooden beams attached to the house's center walls. This section is the loft with the greatest view of the region.
The wooden beams sit on the rammed earth walls, creating a structure for the roof every 70 cm. The top closures of the structure are made of glass, allowing for zenithal and indirect lighting throughout the dwelling. The communal room extends from end to end towards the land through access platforms, generating a vestibule in the front and a covered deck with a fire pit in the back.
Because of the existence of eucalyptus plantations, the terrain is dry, resulting in poor soil and the absence of other plant species. In response to this issue, a native species planting through landscape islands is advocated. The islands will develop gradually until they have consumed all of the land through the eucalyptus.
Photographs by JAG Studio.
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