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Quito House – Casa X : Architecture

Key Contemporary Building in Ecuador, South America property design by Arquitectura X

17 Apr 2008

Location: Quito

Date: 2007

Design: Arquitectura X

Contemporary home in the Tumbaco Valley, Quito, Ecuador

Contemporary home in the Tumbaco Valley, Quito, Ecuador

Photos by Sebastian Crespo

X House

Not having a site when we started design on our house, we set out an elemental scheme that could work both in Quito and the valleys east of the city; this meant distilling our experience into an abstracted form, inspired in the work of Donald Judd, that could be placed in any of the sites we would be likely to find: an open ended box, whose spatial limits would be the eastern and western ranges of the Andes.

New home in the Tumbaco Valley, Quito, Ecuador

As we had no actual place, we looked to the spaces we felt our own, and found the patio as the essential place maker throughout our architectural history.

New house in the Tumbaco Valley, Quito, Ecuador

On the other hand was our fascination for the prototypical glass house and its possibilities in our year round temperate climate.

Contemporary house in the Tumbaco Valley, Quito, Ecuador

While the patio creates a sense of place it has to be enclosed in order to work, so the mountains can’t become the spatial limit. The glass house is perfect for that unlimited sense of space; the addition of a patio to the glass house gave us the chance to adapt to the different site possibilities.

We separated the private and public spaces defining a patio, the service spaces and circulation could be added as a plug-in as needed depending on site conditions, further defining the patio.

Quito House Quito House Casa X

Finally this diagram could be fitted into the open ended box according to specific site conditions that would define orientation, size and proportion.

arquitectura x

Construction and choice of materials were parallel considerations to the design concepts, and were decided on similar premises: a building system that could be modulated and would allow decision making based on varying budget and site conditions.

Casa X Casa X Casa X Quito

A light steel structure on a concrete plinth supports the rusted steel and plywood open ended box. Circulation, service spaces, and the elements that make the house function are inserted in white and enclosed in polycarbonate for protection from the stronger western sun. All services run concentrated parallel to circulation, rain water is kept separate from drainage, it is surface collected, and flows down the rusted ends of the box into the ground.

Main materials:

Open ended box
3 mm cold rolled steel, rusted and weather coated, for exterior planes.
9 mm varnished plywood for walls and ceiling inner planes and 15 mm varnished plywood for the floor plane (marine plywood for the outside)

Functioning elements
Concrete floors polished and painted white
Drywall ceiling and partition walls, plastered and painted white
Sandblasted glass and polycarbonate partitions
8mm polycarbonate enclosure, translucent and ice finishes

8mm single pane transparent glass with aluminium bracing and doors


Reinforced concrete plinth and foundations, reinforced concrete ground floor slabs
Steel columns, 160 mm HEB sections, rusted and coated
Steel beams, 200 mm IPN and rectangular sections, painted, 150 mm rectangular section substructure, painted
First floor and roof, reinforced concrete slabs over steel deck, weatherproof white paint (with polyester reinforcement on roof)


Built Area: 380 M2 Including Garages
Structural Engineer: Pedro Caicedo
Electrical Engineer: Pedro Freile
Services Engineer: Raul Cueva
Construction: Adrian Moreno, On Site Supervision: Carlos Guerra

Photographs: Sebastian Crespo

arquitectura x
Av. Granda Centeno 1114 y Bobadilla #16, Quito, Ecuador

X House Quito images / information from Arquitectura X

Location: Quito, Ecuador, South America

Ecuador Houses

Ecuador Architecture Designs – chronological list

Ecuador Home Designs – selection below:

Magnolia House, Arrayanas
Architecture: Estudio Felipe Escudero
Magnolia House Arrayanas Ecuador
photos : Haley Lee & Saul Endara
New House in Arrayanas

House AO, Otavalo
Architecture: Studio Alfa
House AO in Otavalo - Ecuador Architecture News
photograph : Bicubik
House AO in Otavalo
Plus House

Quito House 3

Quito Observatory House

Quito Trees House

Triangular House

Ecuador Building Designs

Architecture in the country:

Ecuador Building

Ecuador Architectural Designs – selection:

EPIQ Building, Quito
Architecture: BIG
Epiq Building in Quito - Ecuador Building News
image courtesy of architects office
EPIQ Building in Quito

EPN University Library, Quito
Design: Ordonez Arquitectos
EPN University Library Quito Ecuador architecture news
visualization : SOMA studio
EPN University Library

Architecture in countries close by:

South American Buildings

Peru Architecture

Colombian Developments

Chile Properties

Argentina Property

Website: Arquitectura X Ecuador

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