Benjamin Carrión House Renovation / Bernardo Bustamante Arquitectos
Text description provided by the architects. The project begins with the donation of the property of the Benjamin Carrion family to the city. Provide the neighborhood with these facilities and an ancestral park-garden, for the enjoyment of all. The result is the democratization of private green, abundant in our South American cities.
The new and rehabilitated infrastructure, a tribute by the family and the municipality of Quito to the literary prestige of Benjamin Carrion, one of Ecuador’s most important writers and intellectuals. His great interest and contribution to science, literature and the artistic and cultural development of the country have constantly made his name resonate when he speaks on these subjects. The project offers a program focused on the cultural development and leisure of young people.
The re-functionalization of the house of Benjamin Carrion is characterized by giving this property to the city, recovering an ancestral garden of Quito, which has coexisted with the house of the Carrión family since its origin, punctually in the neighborhood of Bellavista, and protects modern architectural heritage. The proposal aims to solve the new needs for the new use of the house to a cultural center, through interventions with transparent elements that properly relate to the immediate environment, acting with great respect for the existing heritage house.
The house is set in a large plot of 2200m2, which has been almost untouched over time, withstanding the onslaught of property speculators for decades. It is located in one of the sectors with the highest capital gains in the city, so it has become an oasis of greenery between large towers that occupy the entire surface of the plot.
For the design team, the priority was to maintain the garden, without touching the old trees, native to this Andean landscape.
The intervention consists of two rooms required by the program: A new entrance hall that faces the access axis from the street, which almost without touching the existing house, connects it with two bridges in a very respectful way , solving the circulation system of the new program with only two incisions.
The new hall is a translucent prism nine meters high, covered with a second skin of steel blades, which feeds natural light towards the diffuser, generating interesting effects inside during the translation of the sun.
The second room is a multipurpose room, which for a requirement of the administration of the Benjamin Carrion Foundation, had to operate independently from the House. The design sought the only place in the garden where there were no trees, to place this piece, taking this garden to an upper stratum that connects to the patios of the house, through a bridge, allowing to approach the top of a large Guabo tree, which covers this verdant terrace with its shade.
This volume is hidden in the natural topography of the lot, and its transparent skin allows a total connection with the gardens of the project.
The original house has been completely restored, maintaining its essence without changing its distribution, adapting the existing spaces to new uses.