A Family Lives Harmoniously Together in This Captivating Multi-Generational Home

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By Michele Koh Morollo
In Sangolquí, Ecuador, architects create a striking Z-shaped home to accommodate two generations.

When Raul Ortega wanted to build a home that would accommodate his wife and children, as well as his elderly parents, he turned to Quito–based architecture firm Estudio A0 for help. After much strategic planning, the team revealed their solution: two houses in one, serving as independent and interdependent structures. This way, the family members could live harmoniously together, while still maintaining a sense of autonomy.

A wooden screen provides privacy, and offers protection from the strong midday sun.

A wooden screen provides privacy, and offers protection from the strong midday sun.

To enable the two families to live independently and interdependently, Estudio A0 co-founder Ana María Durán Calisto has created a layout that consists of two volumes.

To enable the two families to live independently and interdependently, Estudio A0 co-founder Ana María Durán Calisto has created a layout that consists of two volumes.

The 5,457-square-foot house is composed of two pavilions, which are set in a "Z" formation. 

The 5,457-square-foot house is composed of two pavilions, which are set in a "Z" formation. 

One volume serves as a home for Ortega, his wife, and children, while the other unit is the residence for his elderly parents. 

One volume serves as a home for Ortega, his wife, and children, while the other unit is the residence for his elderly parents. 

A look at the stepped library, which also serves as a lounge area for all to enjoy.

A look at the stepped library, which also serves as a lounge area for all to enjoy.

The design of the house has resulted in an assembly of two units that are equal in size, yet different in scale. The Z-shaped layout creates two C-shaped exterior areas that the families can gather in together, or use separately.

The design of the house has resulted in an assembly of two units that are equal in size, yet different in scale. The Z-shaped layout creates two C-shaped exterior areas that the families can gather in together, or use separately.

Here is a look at one "C" space which folds toward the interior, taking in the morning sun. 

Here is a look at one "C" space which folds toward the interior, taking in the morning sun. 

The social spaces of the house—such as the kitchen, dining area, and main living room—are located on the ground level. The upper level consists of the private zones, including the bedrooms. The difference between the ground and upper level has been mediated by two sloping walls, which allowed Calisto to incorporate a staggered library for Ortega, as well as a cascading interior garden for his mother.

The social spaces of the house—such as the kitchen, dining area, and main living room—are located on the ground level. The upper level consists of the private zones, including the bedrooms. The difference between the ground and upper level has been mediated by two sloping walls, which allowed Calisto to incorporate a staggered library for Ortega, as well as a cascading interior garden for his mother.

Here is a closer look at the living room.

Here is a closer look at the living room.

Ground level floor plan.

Ground level floor plan.

Upper level floor plan.

Upper level floor plan.

Cross sectional drawings.

Cross sectional drawings.

Project Credits: 

 Architecture: Estudio A0 

Builder: Carlos Morales

Structural and civil engineering: Aldo Echeverría

Hydro-sanitary engineering: Fernando Salazar C.

Lighting components: Manilec

Lighting (mounting): Gerardo Asencio

Kitchen cabinetry: Hogar 2000

Furniture: Muevlicenter