Ground Floor Plan

First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Site Plan

Northwest Façades

Sections A-A’ (below) and B-B’ (above)


Apartment Blocks

Cumbayá, Ecuador


Design team:
Santiago del Hierro, Hugo Acosta, María del Carmen Burbano, Mauro Cepeda, Francisco Cevallos, José de La Torre, Gabriel Moyer-Perez
Espinosa & Pachano
Project management:
Alberto del Hierro
Structural engineer:
José Chacón
Lorena Darquea, Santiago del Hierro, Gabriel Moyer-Perez

Calistemo is a 13-unit residential complex (approx. 4000 m2) located in Cumbayá, a suburban valley to the east of Quito. The project responds to a transitional period from single family houses to apartment buildings and aims to articulate the benefits of higher urban density with positive aspects of living in the city’s outskirts, primarily the immediate access to green and natural daylight all around each dwelling. 11 apartments have an open garden in front of their living rooms and all kitchens and bathrooms face interior light wells, leaving absolutely no dark spaces towards the center of both blocks.

Residential individuality was a main concern throughout the design process and every unit aims to accommodate the particular needs of their owners. Partly as a result of including open gardens and escalating light wells in every level, the layout of each apartment unit is different and generates a complex geometry in plan. The facade also reflects the diverse layouts and is perforated in response to varying levels privacy and views towards the valley. As part of this logic of diversity, an exposed concrete structure system is based on 20 cm diaphragm columns that adjust to the asymmetrical conditions of the architectural design.