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Parasitic house in Quito, Ecuador designed by El Sindicato Arquitectura

The Quito-based architectural studio El Sindicato Arquitectura has recently completed ''Casa Parásito'' which is is a minimal design object, focused in solving the basic habitation necessities for a person or young couple, situated in San Juan, QuitoEcuador.

Project description by the architects:

“Poor is not who owns little, but who needs a lot” José Mujica former Uruguay president.

Design and construction of a 12 sq.m dwelling, located on the rooftop of an existent building at the popular neighbourhood San Juan in Quito, Ecuador. Casa parásito (Parasitic house) is a minimal design object, focused in solving the basic habitation necessities for a person or young couple: It includes: bathroom, kitchen, bed, storage space and To-be space ( eating, working and socializing), which secure all the facilities of a dwelling in a reduced area.

Parasitic house in Quito, Ecuador designed by El Sindicato Arquitecturaimge © Andrés Villota

a cabin house on the roof of a building imge © Paolo Caicedo

The project is developed from an A–frame façade. Its concept comes from the seek of the optimum space for living according to the activity we perform. We proposed a rectangular core, where all the standing activities are performed and where one can access to all the utilitarian spaces, such as: kitchen table-top, bathroom, bed, storage, desk, etc. The utilitarian spaces, adjacent to the rectangular core, are within triangles and rhomboids. These geometries, apart from containing its own activity, they offer stability to the whole structure.

night view of a small house imge © Andrés Villota

city in the sunset imge © Andrés Villota

Architectural plans Plans

The Project is composed of 3 modules created by 4 structural frames that combine spaces free of utilitarian objects, in order to maximise the use of the volume and diminish the built area. This allows the flexible space of the rectangular core to be used to the convenience of the activity performed in the dwelling.

suburb of the Quito cityimge © Andrés Villota

children sitting in nature near a painted wall imge © Andrés Villota

With a large transparent window, the project lets natural light in through the North Façade. It opens views towards the city and the Cotacachi, Imbabura, Mojanda and Cayambe volcanoes. On the other hand, a frosted glass on the south façade ensures good illumination, ventilation and privacy towards the neighbors.

the interior of this small house made with wood imge © Andrés Villota

a hp laptop on a work desk imge © Andrés Villota

On the east and west façade, which in Ecuador they get direct sunlight during the whole year, are completely closed to avoid the access of direct sunlight.

light entering the room through large windows imge © Andrés Villota

For interior walls and flooring, OSB panels are used as a finish. For exteriors walls and roof, steel panels. Given the timber structure and substructure for fixing the metallic panels, we create a 12cm insulation void which is filled with coconut fibre as insulating material. Steel foundations are employed to attach the project to the slab of the existing structure.

a woman sitting in bed imge © Andrés Villota

Although, it is possible to build the project in urban or rural plots without existing constructions, ideally its construction should occur on underused rooftops of urban edifications that are structurally sound. Buildings where one can connect to the existing water, waste and electrical grids. In this way, we can contribute to the densification of the city from a very small scale, with a minimum of economic investment and use of resources, as well as contributing to the conservation of the architectural heritage.

Parasitic house in Quito, Ecuador designed by El Sindicato Arquitecturaimge © Paolo Caicedo

table and chairs imge © Paolo Caicedo

the city view through window imge © Paolo Caicedo

woman woke in her bed imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

a girl sleeping in bed under triangular roof imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

books and tv imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

a girl resting in her bed upstairs imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

stove imge © Pablo Olalla

copybook and laptop imge © Pablo Olalla

a girl sitting on chair and working on her desk imge © Pablo Olalla

a girl reading book imge © Pablo Olalla

woman reading book in her bed imge © Pablo Olalla

a beautiful latin girl imge © Pablo Olalla

girl in wearing black dress imge © Pablo Olalla

a man sitting on chair and reading book imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

Parasitic house in Quito, Ecuador designed by El Sindicato Arquitecturaimge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

man working with computer on wooden desk imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura

girl's feet imge © El Sindicato Arquitectura





lofted level simple

lofted level

main level plan

ground floor plan


Project name: Casa Parásito

Architecture firm: El Sindicato Arquitectura

Authors: Xavier Duque, María Mercedes Reinoso, Nicolás Viteri 

Location: San Juan, QuitoEcuador

Year: 2019

Built area: 12 m²

Photography: Andrés Villota, Pablo Olalla, Paolo Caicedo

Illustration: Carlos Valarezo & El Sindicato Arquitectura

Furniture: Soroche de los Andes, Rama estudio

Translation: Jhower Sánchez





By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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