The Kaisen House by Rama Estudio in Ecuador is placed in a grove of carob trees in the middle of a slightly sloping landscape. It is intended to influence the natural environment in a minimal way. The designers explained, “[We] took advantage of the benefits of the shade thrown by each of the existing trees.”
Kaisen House is a timber construction combined with a traditional local building style called bahareque, with air circulation built in and ample windows looking out on the surrounding natural environment. The house is designed with a minimal depth to create the smallest footprint and best views of the forest, as well as to affect the carob trees in the least amount possible. The house is implemented as a bar shape that is 7.50 meters wide and 24 meters long.
It’s shaped a bit like a shipping container home, with second-story balconies situated on top of doorways that open onto the grounds. Inside, the views from every angle of the house redirect the individual to look back to the outdoors at every chance. There are two wings to the house: service and family wings. In the family side of the house, the kitchen and the dining room are connected to a deck through a sliding screen that opens to the forest.
A social area is connected through a deck with the dining room, encouraging outdoor use of the space and enhancing air circulation. In this wing there is also a multifunction room that connects to another patio.
“On the second floor, under the same logic, there is an area with two bedrooms that open to the best view and a family area that is in complete relationship with the front forest,” the designers said.
The traditional building technique called bahareque inspired the building’s enclosure by cane-style wood slats to create air circulation indoors. Materials used include laminated wood and metal, which was molded for use as a staircase, for balcony railings and floor plates.
Kaisen House is at once completely modern and completely traditional in its layout and style. From every angle, it’s a fresh air experience.
Photography by JAG Studio