situated in the city of cuenca, ecuador, ruptura morlaca architecture has completed ‘cement curtain’ – a workshop built around an existing mediagua (a type of small, prefabricated timber building). the brief behind the project sought to preserve the original structure, which previously served as an office, while forming new wings encompassing a central green space. by combining recycled materials with large expanses of glazing, the resulting design provides users with a place to enjoy a view of nature within an urban context.
all images © oscar moscoso
upon entering the site from the street, there are two pedestrian accesses. the gravel path is assigned to the informal entrance of the house as it brings the user closer to a natural context by the sound it generates. while there is also a cement platform that is designed by the architects as the more formal entrance as it is positioned to gain entry to the office. planned over one floor, the scheme is programmed around the central courtyard, with the kitchen, dining and office all in direct contact with the outdoor area.
the new intervention uses recycled materials from previous works, such as iron for the whole structure and glass and fiber cement plates on the roof and façade. the 4 x 4 cm iron structural elements are used to shape the kitchen doors and windows, as well as the structure of the façade that supports the fiber cement plates on the outside and the shelves inside, creating a ‘furniture wall’ that floats like a concrete curtain and gives the project its name.
wavy eternit plates painted in a similar shade have been installed throughout the roof, over both the kitchen and workshop. on the floor of the workshop, lacquered MDF wood panels are placed, and in the kitchen a refurbishment of resin-protected concrete has been carried out to generate a ‘division’ of the exterior floor, preventing the ingress of water. for the wall behind the kitchen counter, auto paint was applied with a compressor, obtaining a total impermeability of the existing irregular surface.
for the interior façade of the existing construction (mediagua), recycled pine wood is used as a finish, and in the new part (kitchen and workshop) glass plates have been employed, both new and used from a previous project respectively. with the work focused around the existing building and the inner courtyard, the architectural intervention results in an open and informal set of spaces, allowing users to enjoy interiors bathed in natural light and views to the outdoors.
project name: ‘cement curtain’
location: cuenca, ecuador
architect: ruptura morlaca architecture
architects in charge: paul chango, carolina bravo
construction: ruptura morlaca architecture
photography: oscar moscoso
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom