House -Studio and art gallery
work selected in 2nd Mies Van der Rohe Award for Latin American Architecture

Francisco Ursua Cocke

A mexican Architect, university professor who has been living in Ecuador for eight years, and a respectable watercolor painter who also has first-hand experience in aviation, in naval architecture and in the oil industry, decided to try his luck in a neighbourhood populated by artisans, small shopkeepers and neighbourhood functionaries, with views of the city, the sheltering forest and the Ruco Pichincha. Thus he built his watercolorist's studio, workshop in which to frame and restore photographs, dwelling and art gallery, built for him exclusively by his neighbours, who warmly welcomed him into the community. He lives there without fences or protective grilles, and on his property he has created landscaped communal areas in which his immediate neighbours may lacquer furniture, do the washing and hang it out to dry, and in which children may play (those of school-going age regularly come to consult our adventurer's memory and books).
The stone foundations rest on concrete templets and are weatherproofed with asphalt; the mixed structure of bearing walls and earthuuake-resistant walls in double-faced brik with interior hollows is reinforced with concrete; the studio structure consists of iron angle, T-shaped profiles and gutters; the floors and facades are of recycled timber plywood; the roofs are of reinforced concrete, recycled timber and galvanised steel sheets; the laurel wood doors and window frames have natural finish; craft-made triple glazing on angle iron and T-shaped profiles.

Album, a mini ecuadorian experimental publication

Album was born from the necessity to shape feelings and ideas that the
designer can hardly bring to reality in the daily work. Generally, this
type of visual expression remains in a drawer or in the computer´s hard
disk. Summoned by Esteban Salgado, a group of ecuadorians decided to create
a piece that could be reproduced and distributed as the thousands of
pamphlets that we receive each day. The difference is that this was made to
be felt only. If the owner wants to understand it or perhaps to find its
utility, it might seem usefulness. Nevertheless if he finds it ugly,
pleasant, impressive or if it inspires him the will to experiment, then it
would have fulfilled its objective. Album is a window to experiment, where
each person has its own proposal and point of view, that ends up in a
unique and original piece of art. In order to make the magazine Salgado
took pictures and created collages; and little by little he was making his
personal ¨Album¨, collecting ideas, feelings, etc. Other participants sent
ideas that were written years ago or photos that they never dared to
publish. Album uses two types of paper, ¨leftovers of professional work.
Therefore, couche paper and recycled paper give the piece more character,
since each page rescues different colors and textures. Printing in four
colors gives the piece dynamism and grants freedom while the creation takes
place. The content of album has much to say, each page has its own history.
In a small place much is said by means of photos or words. This Album had
such success because it was created not only to be understood but to be
Album of: Esteban Salgado / /Silvia Noriega, Lorenzo
Cucalon, Frank Johnson, Ricardo Moncayo. Translation Nuria Moya.
Full interview at

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