In the historic center of Quito, Ecuador, Aquiles Jarrín has transformed a formerly divided residence into an airy and plant-rich home. By pulling back the walls of the existing apartment from the 1970s, the project reveals a “forest” of beautifully unpolished concrete pillars and a permeable living space.
The owners of the apartment tried to break the strict delimitation of the floor plan in order to ensure more flexibility and adaptability. They not only wanted to bring in a lot of green, but also create a social area without strong separation between the private spaces and create a free and open place to live.
First the inner walls were torn down and planters were introduced. The walls were replaced by glass openings with access to the terrace, which reconfigured the space and turned it into a green space of nature and light. Without walls, the pillars of the concrete structure gained a strong presence, which made them a key element of the apartment and gave them a more poetic dimension, as they were no longer seen as pillars but as tree trunks.
The idea arose that it was no longer a domesticated space, but a wilder world or a “forest”. If the pillars were trees and the room was a forest, only other trees could appear in this scenario. some fallen, others superimposed as it normally occurs in nature. Therefore, new elements of the same size were created and a playful and experimental exercise started to solve the habitability needs. By overlapping the imposed steel logs, new ground levels were created that effectively define different areas within an interior topography. These new elements have been designed with three faces and an internal cavity that gives them the characteristics of furniture and turns them into a multifunctional piece that can be used to store a book, bread or shoes. Metal was the most suitable material, which allowed both versatile use and the development of all project elements.