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Global Architecture Platform

San Juan House

Quito – Ecuador, 2005-2007
Collaborator: David Barragán


A house in Quito’s Historic Old Town turns its gaze on a private garden. On the old terrace, the new hall becomes a connector between the interior and the exterior. A continuous steel girder reaffirms the vocation of openness to the landscape, while its horizontality unifies the façade facing the garden. The extremes of the beam are delicately separated from the adobe (sun-dried mud brick) wall, barely tapping them. The mobile gallery allows for a wide range of openings towards the garden, and can regain its original condition as a terrace.

Inside, the hall is an internal connector, the heart of the house. Massive, substantive, timeless, is the extreme expression of the materiality of the house. Its verticality relates only to the sun and to the other rooms. The thick and irregular perforations are aligned with the internal visuals, creating a primitive and non-obvious order.

The constructive system is the principal actor of this original house and its land: hanging an eighteen meters beam, placing a ceiling on structural walls, digging a crack in the ground to save the sharp drop.


Collaborator: David Barragán Arq

Client: Andrés Bueno and Ana María Armijos

Engineering: Ing Herberto Novillo

Builder: Jaime Quinga and Luis Pillajo

Construction Area: 727.00 m2

Site Area: 1125.00 m2

23.Dec.2016 2400 views
José María Sáez

José María Sáez Vaquero is a Spanish architect, living in Ecuador since 1994. He is teaching at the School of Architecture, Design and Arts of the Catholic University of Quito. He was awarded the National Award for Architectural Design in the Pan-American Architecture Biennale of Quito in 2006 and 2012 for Pentimento House and Los Algarrobos House. Pentimento House also received the award for the Best Young Work on the VI Ibero American Architecture and Urbanism Biennale of Lisbon in 2008. He has been visiting professor at universities in Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Spain, Italy and United States. He currently collaborates with BCNecologia in projects of urban ecology for the Historical Center of Quito, and

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