Proyecto: Jaskran (Jazz) Kalirai & Ana María Durán Calisto
Equipo: Esteban Cervantes, Sofía Galárraga, Daniel Sáenz y Nicolás Vivas
Construcción: Luis Vizcaino & Jorge Espín
La Floresta, Quito, 2011-2013 (en construcción)
The Quito Publishing House is being built in La Floresta neighborhood: a bohemian, semi-retro, hip, artsy and closely knit community in the heart of Northern Quito. Its idiosyncratic nature posed the greatest design challenge. We were asked to introduce an office building where none exist and where a conventional intervention would be considered aggressive. Many of the low rise houses of La Floresta are patrimonial and a large portion of it will never become dense nor will be developed. The plot acquired by our client was one of the few empty ones, adorned solely by the graffiti on its inner and outer walls, occupied by a lonely shack. The program we were assigned was exciting: three publishing companies, currently housed in separate floors of a building, wanted to share one large space. Their employees are creative individuals with a strong aesthetic sensibility. When they found out they were being relocated to La Floresta, they were thrilled: the neighborhood is full of holes, coffee shops, bars, music venues, and other places where one can hide away to think. This tripartite ownership of the building gave us more flexibility in terms of how we programmed it: we could arrange all publishing companies within a similar hierarchical level: the three of them revolve around a central void, share the privilege of the same views, and have access to a roof garden. They also share communal spaces and we expect the fluid arrangement of the plan and section to catalyze a community atmosphere analogous to the one that characterizes the neighborhood.