The characteristic feature of the commercial context in Latin America is that there is a high demand for low-cost products. It is usually regardless of their quality and due to the high existing poverty rates. Such need has led to a disorderly and progressive development of commerce, which in broad strokes has saturated the urban image of some cities, both in its reading and in its scale.
The city of Montalvo, Los Ríos province, Ecuador, with approximately 10,000 inhabitants, bases its economic development on trade and agriculture. Its popular culture has resulted in the exhibition of these products, on the sidewalk and in the street in a disorderly way, building large warehousing infrastructures, foreign to the place. Such factors lead Natura Futura, the architect, to rethink new solutions for family productive spaces; that adequately integrate materials, construction systems and context needs.
La Proveedora explores alternatives to respond to the social and economic dynamism of a small city, maintaining and respecting the sense of scale of an urban center.
A family from Montalvo is considering renovating its business for the sale of hardware products and housing, leisure and rental spaces. The intention of this way is to provide the environment and the family with a comprehensive program that responds to the city.
The project is configured using a rectangular prism as the basic geometry. In a 12 × 20 lot, the location is right next to the itinerant market on the street. It is set back on the ground floor and generating the traditional arcade which receives and provides social interactions with the market; while its central levels respect the distances of the pre-existing buildings. Thus also help configuring the scale from the pedestrian’s point of view. On the commercial area, the warehouse floor, the housing floor, event room, leisure, terraces and a point of contemplation of the mountain range that surrounds the city are distributed.
There are balconies and terraces on the 3rd and 4th upper floors. Made up of vegetation, glass windows and exposed brick, the architect choose a double permeable to support it entirely; providing filtered lighting, purified natural ventilation. Understanding the heart and lungs of the building from a triple height skylight of 4m x 4m. This connects the sky with the social area of the house.
La Proveedora rethinks the traditional way of approaching and experiencing the popular culture of the city. A multi-program project that responds sensibly with artisan materials, urban scales and ways of life. A space to provide and shelter within the energetic development of the city.