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2016 MCHAP

Learning To Fly

Jose Roberto Paredes

San Jose Villanueva, El Salvador

December 2015


Jose Roberto Paredes Roberto Dumont


Kevin Moreno (Junior Architect )


Juan Zighelboim


Jason Bax


The project goal was to maximize views to the north while addressing the sloping landscape both burrowing in it and projecting away from it. Working with a and enhancing the landscape rather than imposing on it. The projects presents itself as a gesture of extension of the original landscape that transforms into a rooftop garden. The “ symbolic" underground becomes the social module that welcomes the the user with a very solid front, gradually revealing views so that it eventually opens up to nearly 180 degree views of the landscape. The project extends from East West direction in order to reduce exposure to Sunrise and Sunset and maximize the North Winds and sunlight and channeling ventilation from constant Southern breezes coming from the ocean. The bedroom wing of the projects shift its axis slightly to take in some of the morning sun and while the second level master bedroom places itself over the rooftop garden both projecting it over the surrounding terrain ensuring views of the landscape while at the same time being grounded by the immediate access to the topographical extension of the rooftop garden, and improving the shade from the afternoon sunlight.


The house was designed for a couple of empty nesters, in a new golf course in El Salvador 30 minutes away from San Salvador, on the way to the ocean. It was conceived as a refuge for the couple the peace and quiet of living outside the city. The wife's discipline of Yoga and meditation, meets the husband’s passion for golf, in a roof garden that brings nature inside the master bedroom suite, and at the same time cantilevers as a viewing deck to check out the activity in the golf course. From the rooftop garden , the owner can walk directly to pick his golf cart without coming back into the house. The downstairs open space floor plan, is where they spend most of the time, so the shade and cross ventilation is important to enjoy the surroundings .The kitchen and the tv room/studio is where most of the time is spent, so they they are located where the best views are, and the living and dining rooms are more of a welcoming space for the occasional visit. All the spaces open up to a terrace that faces the north and is protected by a cantilevered extension of the green roof, that way all the house connects to green views. The secondary bedrooms are used during the summers, when their son and daughter visit, and occasionally their parents and friends from abroad. This integrate to the house through a tv/family room, but maintain their privacy .


Tropical design is about a good shade and cross ventilation. Different mechanism where used to ensure that the house mantain a thermal comfort without mechanical systems. Careful placements of south facing windows and rooftop air ducts ensure constant but comfortable air flow . This paired with the thermal mass used on the south wall , the rooftop garden and the evapotranspiration of the vegetation on the garden ensure thermal comfort without mechanical ventilation . a set of glass doors open un to the north terrace inserting a large amount on natural indirect light to the main space. The house cools down while maintaining the privacy from the street.

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