The project consists of a temporary reactivation of a house that will serve as a laboratory of ideas that discusses the sustainable urban development of the city of Quito. The house, to be rehabilitated, was originally a motorcycle store and will soon be part of the construction site for a new 32-story building.
Project name: Lab US
Architect’s Firm: Leppanen Anker Arquitectura
Project location: Quito, Ecuador
Completion Year: 2017
Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 300 sqm
Lead Architects: Aaron Leppanen, Gabriela Anker
Other participants: Uribe & Schwarzkopf, Gabriela Valdez, Sofia Chavez, Belen Acurio
Photo credits: Edgar Davila Soto
The client’s initiative was to take advantage of a “temporarily empty” lot and give to the community a ephemeral space used for creative production and dialogue. The project is dedicated to designers and architects, students and professionals. The time of conceptualization, design and execution of the architectural transformation project lasted 4 months, this way the functioning time of the space was maximized.
The architectonic intention was to rescue the pure and apparently original geometry of the house and to exploit it. Volumetrically, the house was divided three-dimensionally through two planes, which generated a division of space into four colors and a neutral area for circulation. This way the different programs that the laboratory offers are virtually divided, while keeping an open plan. The result is a dynamic space that fosters the creative process of the people who occupy it.
Conceptually we wanted the project to have a high visual and performative impact, especially from the outside. This is why a portico was proposed at the entrance of the project whose shape responds to the extrusion of the geometry of the house towards the public space. This is virtually made up of a network of colored strings that come out from the transparencies of the house, corresponding to the interior color divisions. Functionally, it acts as a convertible plaza that dialogues directly with La Carolina Park and Av. De los Shyris; both important urban elements that the project relates to.
The materiality decision responds to the intention to explore attractive construction techniques, with low environmental impact (considering the temporality of the space) and rapid installation. The complete covering of the interior of the Lab with plywood allows a homogeneity of space with great spatial warmth. Four modules, organized in two different combinations, make up the rhythm in the interior walls of the house, thus optimizing material and manufacturing time. It was sought that once the useful life of the house ends, the material can be reused in other projects or as tools within the construction of the new building.