For centuries the floating houses of the river Babahoyo were the main places for sorting, storing, and resting along the trade route between the Ecuadorian cities of Guayaquil and Quito. When river ceased to be a commercial path, the structures afloat on it diminished in number, from 200 to 25, despite being listed as part of the country’s heritage.
This project to refurbish a floating house harnesses local craft techniques and has the occupants, all from vulnerable communities, take part. The house of the family of Carlos, whose job is repairing boats, and Teresa, who prepares traditional meals, had critical damages to address. The new structure is composed of modular porticoes built with local timber. These form a gabled truss, creating storage spaces with sufficient height for natural light and ventilation. At the center are the private and interactive areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms), while at the ends are the strips for the boat workshop and a terrace where cooked dishes are served.