IN: Inspiration

A concrete retreat

This weekend-house in Ecuador re-envisions the use of concrete in architecture


Located in a mountainside valley, with stunning views of the Andes Mountains,

the El Quinche House was designed by architect Felipe Escudero and named after the rural Ecuadorean parish in which it is situated. “El Quinche House was designed and built within three months because the clients wanted to celebrate their wedding there,” says Escudero. 

A concrete retreat

The residents envisioned the property as a long-term investment, with it doubling as an events venue when they would not be staying at the house. “They wanted to rent the house out for events during the time they are not there. This was something they had thought out from the start,” says Escudero.

A concrete retreat

Despite its modest 750 square feet size, the house has generous bathrooms and a large service-size kitchen. The most striking quality of the El Quinche House has to be its rugged materiality. Nearly the entire structure, including the kitchen counters and sinks, were made by pouring concrete by hand, leaving a variety of raw and beautiful textures in the surfaces. “Making concrete beautiful and durable meant finishes could be minimised in all spaces,” Escudero explains about the process. 

Taking the region’s climate into account, the structure was positioned to the west to receive direct sunlight during the day and harvest heat for the evenings, and windows and awnings were sized and placed to protect the house against the region's strong winds and give the owners a perfect view of the mountainside valley.


Recognised for his innovative solutions in architecture, urban infrastructure, sculpture and strategic design, Escudero’s projects combine a commitment to craftsmanship and technology applied in the realisation of unusual projects. His inventive use of material and high level of detail in projects have been described as ‘surreal’, ‘fun’ and ‘provocative’. Considered as a new voice in contemporary design, Escudero’s work has been exhibited in a variety of places such as the Royal Academy of Arts in London and Ecuador’s Ghibli Gallery in Quinto.

Image source:



Related Articles