Dezeen Magazine

Orense Arquitectos creates closed facade for Mocoli House in Ecuador

Opaque concrete walls and wooden lattices enclose a family house on an island in Guayaquil designed by Ecuadorian practice Orense Arquitectos to feel tranquil and secluded.

Mocoli House is located on Isla Mocolí, a small island n the town of Samborondón, in the metropolitan region of Guayaquil.

Orense Arquitectos designs house in ecuador
Mocoli House has a concrete and teak facade

Designed by local firm Orense Arquitectos, the 460-square-metre residence is meant to provide privacy and relief from the tensions of day-to-day life.

"The owners understood that their home had to be a space with privacy, lucidity and harmony," said the studio.

Enttry courtyard of house in Ecuador
Glimpses of the entry courtyard seen from the street

U-shaped in plan, the two-storey house sits on a flat, rectangular site.

Facades consist of exposed concrete, white stucco and warm-toned teak wood. The street-facing walls lack windows, giving the home an inward-facing quality.

Pool and tree of house in Ecuador by Orense Arquitectos
A raised path crosses a pool to reach the front door

The entrance elevation, which looks north, is formed of two layers. The outer portion has a tall, concrete wall that shields a void behind it. This open area, which is exposed to the sky, holds a double-height courtyard and an upper-level balcony.

"The double facade absorbs you and achieves its protective function of blocking direct solar light and exterior distractions," said Orense Arquitectos.

Orense Arquitectos house in Ecuador
A balcony overlooks the courtyard

Designed to evoke a cave, the entry courtyard has a pathway that crosses over a reflecting pool. The cave-like atmosphere continues as one enters the house but soon gives way to spaces that feel bright and lofty.

"The light receives you while you advance through a reduced area in the beginning, but it begins to amplify while you travel through the hall until you reach the social area," the firm said.

Staircase of Mocoli House in Equador
The staircase has glass balaustrades

At ground level, there is a kitchen, dining area, living room, TV room and bar, along with service quarters. Stretches of glass look upon the landscaped spaces surrounding the enclosed residence.

A white stair with glass railings – envisioned as a "well-placed sculpture" – leads to the upper level. A skylit corridor connects a series of bedrooms, while also serving as a place to display artwork.

Master bedroom terrace of house in Ecuador
The master bedroom has a terrace overlooking the courtyard

Bedrooms are decorated all in white so they can be customised to the taste of each occupant. Softened daylight enters the sleeping areas through an exterior lattice made of teak wood.

Just off the master suite is the terrace that occupies the void behind the entrance facade.

Interiors of Mocoli House
Interior walls are painted white

Located near the Pacific Ocean, Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador, with over two million inhabitants.

Other projects there include a house by Felipe Assadi that consists of gabled, brick volume arranged around a courtyard, and a dwelling by Jannina Cabal that features a tactile material palette and floor-to-ceiling glazing.

Photography is by JAG Studio.

Project credits:

Architect: Orense Arquitectos
Windows: Life Space
Pool: Tecnodonoso
Building automation: AV Solutions

More images and plans

Plans for Mocoli House
Ground floor plan
Plans for Mocoli House
First floor plam
Plans for Mocoli House
Plans for Mocoli House
Plans for Mocoli House
Plans for Mocoli House
Plans for Mocoli House