The house is located in Lasso in the province of Cotopaxi. The land is part of “Ranchos San José” in the middle of a rural environment. The commission was to design a family weekend home, to rest and to receive visits.
Name of the project: Casa Lasso
Name of the architecture office: RAMA estudio
Office website: www.ramaestudioec.com
Contact email of the Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Architects of the project: Carolina Rodas – Felipe Donoso – Carla Chávez
Location (street, commune, city, country): Ranchos San José – Lasso – Cotopaxi -Ecuador
Year in which the Project was finished: 2019
Built surface: 350 m2
Photographer/ Web site: Jag Studio / www.jagstudio.ec – Andrés Villota / www.andresvfotografia.com
The proposal contemplates several conditions for its implementation and operation. A passive architecture is proposed, thought from the traditional and the artisan work. The use of local materials or of nearby areas, and workers of the zone, allows us to promote the learning and practice of constructive vernacular systems of Cotopaxi.
The house was conceived from the materiality. Monolithic rammed earth elements “TAPIAL” supports the roof. There are 5 supporting walls of Tapial located longitudinally in the land, completely closing the house towards the strongest winds, generating a blind facade improving the thermal condition of the house. The walls are 40 cm wide with buttresses of 80 cm arranged according to the structural and utilitarian study of furniture recessed to the walls. The furniture is inserted in the wall taking advantage of the spaces between buttresses, thus embedding utilitarian pieces such as kitchen, beds, shelves, cabinets, etc.
The fireplace articulates the house, a space of warmth and family reunion. This central space is the meeting point of all the circulations and heart of the house that connects the resting area with the social area. The fireplace is the lowest space in the house, it is depressed with the intention of emphasizing the idea of “embrace”
From this point, the house generates open spaces interconnected with each other, there isn’t dividing walls. A system of pivoting panels is used to subdivide zones according to the specific utility of the moment that the family needs.
The pivoting panels, function as walls, door, security, and thermal barrier. They allow to open the house 100% towards the land and close in a hermetic way if required.
The wooden beams rests on the rammed earth walls, generating a framework every 70 cm for the roof. The upper closures of the construction are glass, allowing to have a zenithal and indirect light in the house. The social area opens from end to end towards the land through access platforms; in the front generates a vestibule and in the back a covered deck whit a fire pit.
The resting area is subdivided into two spaces, the first a communal bed space with 6 beds embedded into the rammed earth wall and the second a master bedroom. Both spaces can be integrated only by pivoting the panels.
The house integrates solid and liquid waste manage systems and connects them to an internal irrigation and fertilizer network, without connecting to any sewerage system.
The land is arid due to the presence of eucalyptus plantations; this generates infertile soil to the point of not having any other plant species in the place. In response to this condition, a native species planting is proposed through landscape islands. The islands will be appearing progressively until they take all the land through the eucalyptus.
“Rama is an architecture studio, design, and construction that focuses on the optimization of resources through experimentation. This group is interested in processes that strengthen the design and production with coherence to the needs, the place, its memory, and the environment.
Scales of work, which range from the territory to the object, are related to achieve an integral vision that objectively responds to social, cultural, and spatial issues.
The studio has been invited to give lectures and workshops in different universities of Ecuador and has been awarded with the first national award in the Pan-American Biennial of Architecture of Quito (2014), in the category of rehabilitation and recycling. Their work has been published in different magazines and digital platforms, worldwide. Also, the studio has been selected nationally for the Ibero-American Biennial (BIAU), and as national representatives for the Biennial of Navarre – Spain.
Most of their works are linked to architectural pieces in disuse or change of use. Also, they see great potential in what is already done and that through time has taken a different way and deserves being reformed because we are interested in using what is already and adapting to the present time, to new users or needs.
A less invasive architecture that doesn’t start from scratch; with this vision, they have directed their response to spatial, social, and environmental problems. Each project has different priorities but has the same basis: OPTIMIZING resources. Starting from this idea, they have developed different constructive and furniture systems.”