Emilio López Arquitecto
Emilio López Herrera
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION TEAM
Emilio López Herrera
Johan Grimaldos Rothoblaas
Andres. V. Fotografía
The Quinchuyaku House is located on one of the eastern slopes of Ilaló (extinct volcano), 15 km from Quito, at an altitude of 2600 meters above sea level. With a dry temperate climate, this habitat is part of a gradual replacement project of the existing eucalyptus forest with native flora and fauna.
The architecture is conceived as part of the landscape and its geography. A double-opening envelope functions as a mediator in the landscape from two funnels that converge on one side.
The two open sides of the envelope, oriented east-west, open towards the forest. The double opening allows for cross ventilation and generates an important connection with the place without the need for air conditioning systems.
The construction was made 50% with recycled materials: part of its furniture (stairs and countertops), beams and columns of its structure, and all windows and doors are from an old intervened house in the center of Quito.
From the beginning of the project, a series of mingas or participatory construction processes were carried out, making decisions on the go that transformed the initial design. Local construction workers and close friends participated, fostering an environment of learning and sharing from personal connections.
All the water that is consumed is "harvested" from the existing roofs and stored in nearby tanks. This condition determined the decision that the roof/envelope does not coincide with the facade lines (as initially planned in the project).
This facilitated the location of the water collection tanks. In addition, these "swellings" on the two side facades allow for the placement of the energy storage batteries provided by the solar panels. These solar panels are located on the same envelope and provide 100% of the electrical energy used.
The slopes of Ilaló have undergone a strong process of erosion, which has been increasing in recent years. For this reason, an important part of the work there is soil regeneration.
The gray water from bathrooms and kitchens is used to irrigate growing trees, and a system of terraces alternates with infiltration trenches for rainwater to improve the soil conditions of the place.
The house has a dry toilet, which is a system where human waste goes to a composter that decomposes the matter to make compost for the plants and trees being planted. There is also another composter for organic kitchen waste.