Felipe Escudero: Wallpaper* Architects Directory 2022

Estudio Felipe Escudero, Ecuador: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022

Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual roundup of exciting emerging architecture studios. Meet Ecuador-based Estudio Felipe Escudero and explore his Magnolia home

Experimental homes and contemporary fluid forms are part of architect Felipe Escudero’s growing portfolio. The young studio has now joined the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2022, our annual list of exciting emerging practices from around the world.

Who: Estudio Felipe Escudero

Felipe Escudero founded his eponymous practice in Quito in 2015, after having worked in London, Beijing and New York, respectively in the offices of Heatherwick Studio, MAD Architects and Space4Architecture. “The reason why I decided to come back to Ecuador is that after a while I started to see all the similarities between these big cities and I was interested in finding something unique here,” he said.

Escudero built several residential, commercial and cultural projects, such as Magnolia House (pictured) for his mother; his own residence; and the concrete embrace of Casa Roca. More recently, the studio built the Foresta Restaurant, which features kitchen “islands” made from volcanic stone sourced from Cotopaxi in Ecuador. “The speed and informality of Latin America can be beneficial, in the sense that you can build things quite quickly. It has been a journey to make the most of local conditions from a global perspective,” says Escudero.

He describes his design methodology as “the exploration of form, with the intention of creating timeless buildings; there is always a search for a form that seems to be both past and future”. This is clearly seen in his proposal for the Center for Contemporary Art in Quito, which features a monolithic white cube placed on the ruins of a historic house.

What: Magnolia House

The lush, green mountain valley of Puembo, Ecuador provides the perfect backdrop for Estudio Felipe Escudero’s Magnolia House. Built for the architect’s mother, the house was designed around her love of cooking and magnolias, with the pale, raw concrete structure configured around a central courtyard with her favorite tree.

“The process was both amazing and emotional, to be able to build and design for my mother, a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” says Escudero. The house can be described as a testament to her love for modern art and architecture, which she nurtured in him. The one-story house features floor-to-ceiling glass walls, with the drooping walls of the central courtyard providing privacy to the bedrooms on either side. Using lightweight concrete slabs, Escudero strove to create the effect of a “lightly floating spacecraft landing on a pristine landscape.”

Inside, the design uses a restrained palette of mostly white with hints of black and gray, and was largely furnished with the studio’s own line of furniture, “Near Life”. Escudero explains the rationale for the layout: “The intention was to design a house that, if you lived alone, in my mother’s case, would be compact but simultaneously capable of hosting large family dinners, so the main spaces such as the dining room, bedroom, kitchen and living room can be opened up to form a large space for hosting parties.’

Why: Wallpaper* 2022 Architects Directory

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual list of promising practices from around the world. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years the project has presented inspiring work with a focus on the residential realm. Now counting more than 500 graduates, the Directory of Architects is back for its 22nd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Paraguay, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam with lots of promise, ideas and exciting architecture. §

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