Tourists to Ecuador Hope to Get Near This Home’s Lookout

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By Luke Hopping and Dwell
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A World Heritage Site sits at the foot of a house in Ecuador.

Sightseers are as likely as worshippers to make the pilgrimage to Mirador de Turi, a historic church nestled in the hills south of Cuenca, Ecuador. From its white spire, visitors are treated to a breathtaking panorama of the four-and-a-half-century-old city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site. 

The view from the top may seem one-of-a-kind, but another high-altitude sanctuary has an almost equal vantage point all to itself. Nearby, a relaxed single-family home by INAI Arquitectura reclines into the same slope, gazing out at the terra-cotta conurbation below. 

 

The valley city of Cuenca, Ecuador, unfurls in front of this hillside residence’s north facade. Nearby, a historic church offers tourists a similar but far less private place to contemplate the scenery.    

The valley city of Cuenca, Ecuador, unfurls in front of this hillside residence’s north facade. Nearby, a historic church offers tourists a similar but far less private place to contemplate the scenery.    


The interior is defined by material combinations that are as entrancing as the view. Ceramic tile flooring pairs with local stone walls in the living room. 

The interior is defined by material combinations that are as entrancing as the view. Ceramic tile flooring pairs with local stone walls in the living room. 



In the kitchen, a staircase with a wood backbone supports floating glass treads. The home’s main entrance is located on the top level due to the property’s incline.

In the kitchen, a staircase with a wood backbone supports floating glass treads. The home’s main entrance is located on the top level due to the property’s incline.


Visitors cross a tile deck underneath a pergola to enter. 

Visitors cross a tile deck underneath a pergola to enter. 


The exterior defers to the local vernacular and landscape. The roof is made of exposed wood and handmade clay shingles. Structural walls from an earlier construction project were discovered onsite and form the basis for the stone barrier and stairs that hug the bank. The architects took care not to disturb the local shrubs and vegetation. 

The exterior defers to the local vernacular and landscape. The roof is made of exposed wood and handmade clay shingles. Structural walls from an earlier construction project were discovered onsite and form the basis for the stone barrier and stairs that hug the bank. The architects took care not to disturb the local shrubs and vegetation.