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The House of Flying Tiles

La Cabina de La curiosidad

Pifo, Ecuador

September 2018


Daniel Moreno Flores


Luis Guamán, Patricio Cevallos, Nicole Montero, Cristian Navarrete, Martín Pasaca


Emilia Andrade


Jag Studio


As urban beings, we are always seeking possibilities in the city streets, besides the understanding of what the territory offers us, in order to obtain resources that allow us to make architecture.

We consider that we can generate buildings inquiring on our own possibilities of managing that surpass economic logics. That’s why, we open our eyes to the city looking to obtain materials that others discard or abandon. We make urban readings that link us with the society and its dynamics.

In the city, we look out for those objects that are able to question us over their existence, those who are still able to be used but are already thrown away or forgotten. In this transition of time and the unproportioned urban growth, the city needs much more free space to stock its waste, and this is not sustainable. On two occasions we obtained: ancient earth tiles around the historical city center. We also recover some floorboards of a common wood in a middle class neighbohood.

In the contrary, in the countryside we search for the resources that the territory give us, understanding the collective intelligence that recognizes nature's as a provider of renewable materials: as totora fibers along the lakes, terracota, Wook from certified forests and other usable woods.

We value manual work as an honorable making, which requires knowledge and skills, the craftsman keeps alive with his hands the traditions and the ways of elaborating an architecture that is built with what is nearby. Furthermore, in this manner that the economic resources go directly to the workers.


The design of the house was born from the search of the essence of its owner. For that purpose, many of the topics related to her were inquired. We identified a lot of creativity, a playful spirit, innocence, an exploratory personality, seeking surprise, sensorial experiences, aiming to discover, valuing processes, and an interest in mutations and changes in space. In this process, much of the characteristics of the owner's character were absorbed and the work was made through those personal significances. Due to the passion of the owner for illustrations, it was established that it was fundamental to get involved in the owner’s logics and make illustrations as a design methodology (a book was made).

After understanding this constellation of ideas, we sought to encourage spaces that allow timelessness, so that the owner was able to be immersed in her readings. These spaces seek an intensification in the relationship with some externalities such as: the mountain, the low vegetation, the sky, and the Guirachuro (a local bird species).

For the location of the house, an event was held with the owner in which we met to be able to witness the sunrise. This
For the location of the house, an event was held with the owner in which we met to be able to witness the sunrise. This
was fundamental to understand where the sun rises and to have that relationship in mind during the whole project. And we also looked for a place where the trees gave us hugging and embracing the feeling.


The house was adapted and placed among multiple trees, which none was removed, so the house is inserted into the place as if it had always been there, highlighting the location of the flora principally. The house is oriented to the view, for the contemplation of the mountain, of the neighborhoods, and of all the plants and trees of the place.

We seek to make spaces that are discovered, to be traversed in order to experience the house. From the arrival to the house, we sought to have a recognizable abstract defined volume (a metallic structure is assembled that hangs old and new tiles). When entering the property volumes and planes appear which are projected towards the view or towards the trees which generate different heights and connections in levels. It is a surprising experience.

The main volume that covers the entire house, is configured as an impluvium with a light on its lower side (in the equinoxes will enter the light vertically), the interior is made of a ground floor and of a double-height to the view. To the outside is a sloping terrace contained by the hanging tiles for reading. The second volume is the one that configures the bedroom, and its figure corresponds to a very astonishing visual connection where it appears that you be lying in the interior and in the upper part it appears to be lying down or sitting on an inclined plane seeing the mountain in the same way. The third volume, on the other hand, is flat and it embraces a tree, all its foliage is present in the bathroom.

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