In a lot of cases a lot of careful planning is required to make a house become a part of its surroundings but with this one it all came naturally. Las Penas is a house located in El Chaquiñán, Ecuador. It was completed in 2015 by C3V Arquitectura. For the architects, including the surroundings and the views was the natural thing to do so they started the project by looking for the ideal orientation that would allow the house to enjoy the morning sun but to be protected from the afternoon heat and at the same time to capture the most beautiful views from every room.
The house has a design and structure that respond to the site and the surroundingsThe roof was designed to mimic the mountains visible in the distanceThe front of the house is less open to the views that the rear, a design meant to offer privacy
In total there are 395 square meters of living space and they’re organized in a rather chaotic manner. The house is designed with different floor heights and orientations, being shaped by the site and the views of the river canyon. Even though the house shares the site with a neighbor, it was designed in such a way that privacy is not sacrificed.
At the back, the house stands tall, featuring cantilevers, roof terraces and glazed wallsThe roof terrace is an element that allows the house to blend in more easilyBelow the cantilevering roof there’s a wooden deck, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the view
Metal and glass are the main materials used for the exterior of the house, while the interior also includes wood
Sitting on a slope, the house was oriented in a way that takes maximum advantage of this. The building is the tallest towards the back while at the front it looks rather closed off and modest. This way its glazed walls get to be oriented towards the mountains in the distance and the canyon. Speaking of which, the roof was designed to resemble the silhouette of the nearby mountains, a strategy that suits the house well, letting in blend in even more.
Full-height windows open the interior spaces to the surroundings, welcoming the outdoors inThe kitchen, dining and lounge area share an open floor plan with height differencesAt one end of the space there’s a raised section accessible via a set of stairs
Given the unusual design, the sleeping areas were placed on the ground floor and the social spaces are cantilevered and wrapped in a shell of metal, wood and glass. The kitchen at the center of the public space, featuring two islands and the dining area on one side. The lounge space is placed opposite to the dining area but not on the same level.
Up here is the lounge space, strategically raised so the views are more beautifulWood was used to cover the ceiling, some of the walls and the floor throughout the houseThe house is naturally integrated in the surroundings without a lot of planning and effort being necessary