Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
CDM, 26 Houses in Manta, Ecuador by Cheungvogl Architect
March 11th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
CDM is a residential development overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the coastline of Manta, Ecuador. The design enhances the existing waterfront by creating a modern living community. The project consists of 26 + 2 houses with a private rooftop swimming pool in a common lounge area.
The site covers 2360 square metres and has an easy connection with the Capital Quito, Guayaquil and other major cities. The development accommodates 26 + 2 optional units with covered car parking access from the main road.
The site is divided into two quarters with central pedestrian access via terraced garden stairs and lift to all private houses. All units extend towards the ocean, staggered and oriented to allow those furthest from the beach to have sea views.
1. Existing Slope
The houses are inserted into the existing landscape, allowing each unit to take advantage of the most pristine beach views. The terraced design follows the existing slope of the terrain and considers the most efficient and cost effective construction techniques. The design is not only flexible and functionally, it appears modern, simple and luxurious without increasing the construction cost due to unnecessary site excavation or fill into the existing landscape. As such, the foundation cost will be minimized.
By stacking the houses along the slope, the roof of the houses below will naturally create a terrace for the houses above. In responding to the natural terrain, the design offers 26 + 2 stacked houses rather than simply creating apartment units. The design provides ample open spaces and terraces. Toward the corner, the site can easily accommodate 2 more houses than required in the initial brief. Alternatively, this area also can be used to extend or enlarge the adjacent houses.
Roof overhangs are extended to provide natural shading. Using local materials and simple construction techniques, the design respects the architectural vernacular.
The overhang of terraces provides privacy between the houses. This will increase the value of the units and enhance the appearance of the development without increasing the overall construction cost too much.
The design is based on a rationalized modular system. Hence, the construction can be prefabricated, brought in place on site to avoid difficult and expensive cost of pouring in-situ concrete. This will speed up the construction process and easier to manage on site.
5. Central Access
The central pedestrian circulation zone enhances the quality of the development with inserted terraces, providing greenery and shaded communal spaces to rest and gather within the community.
Having a central access strategy is the most cost effective solution for this particular site. The central stair will act as the primary fire escape with a central sloping lift located on one side. The design also considers a secondary terraced open stairs where this could be used for secondary fire escape. Pedestrians can access the main reception and lobby at Level 9 and 10 via terraced gardens onto the central access while a discreet ramp lead cars to covered car park area are located directly off from the main road.