Collection by Diana Budds

Building the Pentimento House


David Barragan and Jose Maria Saez call their Pentimento House "an architecture to be naked to connect with its surroundings." Built using a new, Lego-like modular prefab system the two architects developed, the Quito, Ecuador, project is featured in our December/January 2013 issue on newsstands November 27. Here, we share a slideshow of the house under construction and a sneak peek of the finished product.

The Pentimento House in Quito, Ecuador, is made from concrete modules that function like Lego blocks.
Here are some preliminary sketches of the project. Resident Desiree Marin wanted a house that would blend in with its…
The architects were confronted with a very tight budget, which challenged them to create a flexible structural system.…
Each module stacks to become a wall.
Here's a model of the house. The prefab system was devised as a flexible new building typology well suited to the…
Here's the house's foundation.
Builders place steel rods into the foundation, which hold the precast concrete blocks in place.
Here's a view of the steel rods that will eventually support the interior walls.
A construction worker preps the steel rods and concrete slab.
The pieces are inserted over steel rods anchored with epoxy glue to the platform and become a tight structure of small…
The start of an interior wall is in the center of this photo.
Here are the walls nearing completion.
Here's the finished structure. Transparent or translucent acrylic, and wooden strips fill the voids between the blocks,…
Here's the exterior.
The versatile structure becomes shelf for books, ephemera, and whatever else needs to be stowed away. To see the…
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