Building extensions for existing houses is often more difficult than redesigning the entire property from scratch. That’s because there has to be a connection between the old and the new and everything has to be planned in relation to what is already there. Each time the goals and the design strategy are different. The approach chosen by architect Andrés Argudo for this retreat in Ecuador was a wonderfully balanced one.
The architect had to design an extension for an already existing adobe house. The client wanted to add more living and sleeping spaces without overpowering the original building. The extension had to allow the focus to remain on the adobe house but at the same time it had to make the most out of the site and especially the views which are incredible.
The site is sloped and surrounded by mountains, a lake and a pine forest. The initial house sits at the top of the slope from where the views are most wonderful. In order to allow it to remain the center of attention, the architect positioned the new 245 square meter extension on a lower level, down the slope. The problem remaining was that there had to be a way to bring the outdoors into the extension. The solution was to give the structure a facade mostly made of glass.
The extension embraces the slope, taking full advantage of its proximity to the lake and the amazing pine forest spread around it. The client wanted this new part of the house to be as open as possible and the full-height windows definitely help achieve that goal.
There’s another thing about the extension. Its roof doubles as an open terrace with glass guardrails. This allows it to serve as a natural extension of the social areas inside the main house. The views from up here are obviously gorgeous. There’s also a hot tub built into the terrace and a bunch of features that make it feel cozy.