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.
BRICKS, BLOCKS & OTHER ABANDONED ELEMENTS & PATCHES in Mocha, Ecuador by Al bordE architects
August 20th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Al bordE architects
To come back. Inhabiting the farm where he grew up. This action determines the intervention. The client inherited a stable and chose this spot to be his last home.
There is no decoration when we talk about designing for animals. Cows do not have aesthetic whims.
In addition to the abandonment, the stable accomplishes the minimum: not to fall down. Low budget and the urgency of inhabiting were the main reasons of the project. We used the old and well known formula of the ones who do not have any choice: working with whatever is at hand.
COMMON SENSE IS NOT THAT COMMON
Limitations require being rigorous. Where there is a problem, we apply the solution: patching.
If disassembling the roof structure, adjusting parts that still work, replacing what is not in good condition and reassembling takes us too long, we do not do. We add elements that patched the existing structure.
Chopping the walls to pass electrical wiring and water pipes and then sealing the walls: impossible. Every wire or pipe has to be seen.
Roof is not covering. Roof is cooling. Waterproofing all roof and then relocate tiling; no way. Where the tiling was located we replaced it with an asphaltic lamina that lied on the original roof substructure.
Proximity of earth and rain make the stable wet. We move away water from the house by making a perimeter duct and prolonging eaves. Tile in disrepair is used as gravel for the perimeter duct. Tile in good condition is used in the eaves.
Inner space has no light. Enlarging windows means redoing lintels and discarding original frames and glass. Also, the weather is cold. Location of the house is at 3300 meters above sea level. If the roof can solve heat and light, we kill two birds with one stone: skylights.
Limiting room boundaries is needed and so are the main spans. We cannot carry more weight to the original walls: a lightweight material is required. Besides, it should be as fast and as cheaply as possible: matched lumber.
The client has stored sanitary pieces and doors, we re-use them.
Ready. What a beautiful Frankenstein.
Materials need to be safe from use over time. Initially, we were wraped by the figure of the contemporary architect: each material is what it is. But we can afford that, we had no time or money. The effort required in adapting each material for the sole purpose of delighting the eye and saving an aesthetic discourse, turns the project into a stage more than an elementary recycling intervention. Crisis. Suddenly, lying is the most honest attitude: we paint everything.
We chose color realizing the project´s location in the countryside. We tested it by stepping in the walls so we can find the best camouflage color. We made a color study of dust and moisture stains in rainy regions. Result: dirty color is the perfect one.
The paint works in all parts except in the floor. The floor must accomplish other features: besides sealing the material,it must withstand the demanding use. In conclusion: if we had used paint, it should have been a lot more expensive. This argument does not have any sense. The best option was concrete tiles. Great price and it can be placed in all rooms in the house. It looks good when it is clean and also when it is dirty.
All of our concerns were in the inside; the outside was never a problem. Because the dust created outside by the materials over time or through use is irrelevant. Outside the stable was always inhabitable: outside we did nothing.
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