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2016 MCHAP

Hidden Home

Ana Cristina Olivares de Guerrero

Zaragoza, El Salvador

January 2015


EMC Arquitectura


Eva Hinds (Director) Walberto Lara (Project Manager) Boris Garcia (Visualization Manager) Maria Jose Torres (Finishings Manager) Anibal Bolaños (Construction Manager)


Ana Cristina Olivares de Guerrero


Boris Garcia Eva Hinds Manuel Villeda


We added privacy to the house by lowering three meters under the street and the sidewalk level. Our client dreamed of having a friendly layout, a simpler way of life, similar to that of an apartment, where the circulation becomes very down forth and fluent. This is where the open plan layout came in; we made the kitchen the protagonist of the house, subtly dividing the social area from the family area. The kitchen becomes the core, but separates itself from both zones by two slender gardens that shed natural light to this space and to the rest of the house. The design invites visitors to enter through the roof garden and use the main stairway, leading them in complete contact with surrounding nature and panoramic views. Further awaits a porch with natural stone wall that blends inside the living room´s private garde. Locating this space on the opposite end of the house gives it independence, cross ventilation and contacta with green spaces on all three sides. On the north end of the house, we have the family room and master bedroom, plus two children bedrooms. The family can drive down to the main house level, and privately enter through a mud room, directly to the main corridor. Family and mster bedroom share a fantastic view of tree tops. Furthermore, we were to incorporate a slender exercise pool, which was vital for us. The location of the pool was thus very straighforward, having it directly connected to the main bedroom, bathroom, family room and kitchen.


Our Project, Casa Escondida, or “Hidden Home,” is located on the outskirts of the city of San Salvador, El Salvador. The main challenge was tackling the land of an eleven-meter slope, which did not seem corresponding to have a one level home, at first glance. Nevertheless, as this was a non-negotiable requirement, we made it the theme of the house. It was essential to maintain a contrast of total privacy and discretion within the neighborhood, while being able to enjoy absolute transparency and openness of the trees, mountains, and faraway Pacific Ocean view.


It was very important for us that this project be congruent with its natural surroundings, making use of timeless materials. Wall finishes include local stone, iron panels, eucalyptus veneer and a green wall. All in their natural state. The materiality of the walls and floors retain their purity; most of the floor is concrete in its natural color. Doors attempt to camouflage themselves as wall covering materials. The remaining walls are painted in pure white, unassuming so art is the principal protagonist of the décor. After a year of the construction´s completition, the family has adapted well to the house. Expectations have been surmounted by giving its users a welcoming and warm living experience and its visitors an amazing feeling that translates from its surroundigs.

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