When Felipe Escudero returned to his home country of Ecuador with a view to establishing his own architecture firm, one of his first projects was a very special one. Called the Magnolia House, Escudero designed the home for his mother in Puembo, Ecuador, as a tribute to her love of Magnolia flowers and passion for cooking, creating a home of unparalleled visual impact.
Magnolia House was built on the location of a ruined historical building, on a property that was not only embedded within its verdant natural surroundings, but also offered stunning views of the mountains and natural landscape around it. The low-rise structure doesn’t seek to dominate the landscape around it, but still delivers a strong gesture thanks to its enormous square concrete slab of a roof, welcoming pool and the eye-catching tree that forms its centre.
The residence feels thoroughly contemporary inside, with swathes of polished concrete forming the ceilings and floors, while the true floor-to-ceiling windows invite a closer connection with the lush greenery that surrounds the home. As mentioned, the centrepiece of the design is a glass courtyard that is home to the modest garden and the large Magnolia tree, which is framed by sculptural polished concrete forms that look like they are hanging from the ceiling.
At the rear of the residence is an expansive open-plan living and dining space, which is pristine thanks to the lightly toned surfaces, and opens directly onto the deck of the lap pool. Beyond this, the rest of the home has been deliberately designed with a straightforward layout for the bedrooms, bathrooms and study space.
“The intention was to design a house that, if you lived alone, in the case of my mother, would be compact but simultaneously able to accommodate large family dinners, therefore the main spaces such as the dining room, kitchen and living room can open up to form a large space to accommodate parties,” explained Escudero in an interview with Wallpaper.
Since designing and overseeing the building of Magnolia House, Escudero has added several other projects to his portfolio of work in Ecuador, including the Foresta restaurant and the Casa Roca residence.