Ecuadorian architect Felipe Escudero designed a house for his mother, arranged around a central courtyard that frames a magnolia tree placed in a vegetated patio.
“Designing a house for a mother is not only an act of design, it is also an act of love.” With this quote, architect Felipe Escudero invites us into the interiors of this 700-square-meter modernist residence. Magnolia House is located atop a mountain valley in the Los Arrayanas neighborhood of Puembo, Ecuador. “My mother always told me stories about a magnolia tree she had in her house as a child,” he explains. This minimalist design is thus organized around a courtyard that frames this beautiful flowering tree, “delicately placed on the ground like a spaceship that has landed.” Its structure is topped by a flat concrete slab with large spans and cantilevers. The glass facades and covered balcony erase the boundaries between interior and exterior, allowing natural light and air to filter into the spaces. Another feature of the building is that it features the studio’s first collection of naturalist furniture.
Between nature, craftsmanship and technology
Magnolia House offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. The spacious entrance faces the courtyard with bedrooms and bathrooms at either end. In the center is an indoor/outdoor living room, separated by sliding doors, which leads to a terrace overlooking the infinity pool. The pool is covered with green tiles to match the lush surroundings. The living spaces feature two kitchens and a dining room adorned with a long marble table and geometric chairs designed by the studio. The two great features of Magnolia House are a 3D-printed fiberglass sculpture and ribbon lighting, enclosed in a clear tube. In this way, craftsmanship links with technology to better mold materials in innovative ways to produce effects that change depending on the light and the user’s perspective. “It is beautiful architecture that takes on the appearance of a sculpture, as if it were designed with grace,” says Felipe Escudero. “In the construction of a building, there is always a social component to consider. I think we also need fantasy and dreams to live better.”