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The Commune

Natura Futura, Frontera Sur

Huaquillas, Ecuador

October 2018


José Fernando Gómez Marmolejo


Fundación Manos Solidarias


Juan Torres


Natura Futura


The construction of the project was carried out by bricklayers, firemen and neighbors of the sectors; Due to this "The Commune" aims to maximize the resources used and design a simple construction system. As a result, the project is configured from a 3m x 4m module, with the purpose of establishing a progressive system that allows systematizing the construction process in the simplest way possible.

Each module has a specific function; On the ground floor there are three modules so that the family can have a space for production and commercial/community exchange. On the upper floor, three modules are generated with flexible spaces in which the furniture also becomes a flexible configurator of the space, thanks to the design of panels with wheels that allow them to slide easily in each room.

Finally, the commune becomes a landmark for the city, due to the transformation process it underwent, with a history of unhealthiness and pollution. The project communicates a clear discourse through its façade with a message that exposes the word "Recycle", becoming an engine of awareness through architecture and recycling.


Huaquillas is part of the southern border of Ecuador, its neighbor, Aguas Verdes (Peru) shares some contextual characteristics. Both cities are divided by an artificial dam, this slight limit allows constant commercial transactions between them.
This intense commercial process has resulted in the high production of plastic waste. Faced with this situation, a community of recyclers has decided to make this work their way of life.

However, the conditions of the recyclers are not supported by any government entity that provides adequate infrastructure for recycling.
Given this context, foundations and private companies decide to commit to a project that will improve the habitability and productivity conditions of the community of recyclers, with the aim of creating a city with greater awareness of sustainability through architecture.


The performance of the project is determined by the clarity in the layout of the architectural program: habitable spaces and productive spaces. Regarding the habitability, it has been shown that the incorporation of an adaptable raised house that merges with the production space on the ground floor according to the needs of the family, allows a convenient customization that responds to the different routines of the recyclers.

Regarding the productive area of ​​the project, each module adequately responds to each stage of the recycling process. This allows the work of the recyclers to be carried out in a controlled and organized manner, avoiding the problems of unhealthiness and disorganization in which they previously lived. We consider "The Commune" as an experimental project since it proposes strategies of territorial intervention, spatial permeability and self-management of projects.

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