A Modern Glass Extension Built For An Adobe House



Building extensions for existing houses is often more difficult than redesigning the entire property from scratch. That’s because there has to be a connection between the old and the new and everything has to be planned in relation to what is already there. Each time the goals and the design strategy are different. The approach chosen by architect Andrés Argudo for this retreat in Ecuador was a wonderfully balanced one.

The already existing house was preserved and given an extension that's independent
The already existing house was preserved and given an extension that’s independent
The existing house is an adobe structure which has to remain the focal point of attention on the site
The existing house is an adobe structure which has to remain the focal point of attention on the site

The architect had to design an extension for an already existing adobe house. The client wanted to add more living and sleeping spaces without overpowering the original building. The extension had to allow the focus to remain on the adobe house but at the same time it had to make the most out of the site and especially the views which are incredible.

To keep the focus on the original structure, the extension was built on a lower level
To keep the focus on the original structure, the extension was built on a lower level
The new building embraces the slope and offers beautiful views of the lake and pine forest
The new building embraces the slope and offers beautiful views of the lake and pine forest

The site is sloped and surrounded by mountains, a lake and a pine forest. The initial house sits at the top of the slope from where the views are most wonderful. In order to allow it to remain the center of attention, the architect positioned the new 245 square meter extension on a lower level, down the slope. The problem remaining was that there had to be a way to bring the outdoors into the extension. The solution was to give the structure a facade mostly made of glass.

The rooftop of the new structure doubles as a terrace and an extension of the old house's living area
The rooftop of the new structure doubles as a terrace and an extension of the old house’s living area
The new facade is mainly made of glass in order to frame the beautiful views as best as possible
The new facade is mainly made of glass in order to frame the beautiful views as best as possible

The extension embraces the slope, taking full advantage of its proximity to the lake and the amazing pine forest spread around it. The client wanted this new part of the house to be as open as possible and the full-height windows definitely help achieve that goal.

The glazed facade lets natural light and panoramic views inside, establishing a connection with the valley
The glazed facade lets natural light and panoramic views inside, establishing a connection with the valley
The rooftop terrace is an open social area with simple furniture, glass guardrails and views over the treetops
The rooftop terrace is an open social area with simple furniture, glass guardrails and views over the treetops

There’s another thing about the extension. Its roof doubles as an open terrace with glass guardrails. This allows it to serve as a natural extension of the social areas inside the main house. The views from up here are obviously gorgeous. There’s also a hot tub built into the terrace and a bunch of features that make it feel cozy.

There's also a wooden deck section with a built-in tub which makes the most of the views
There’s also a wooden deck section with a built-in tub which makes the most of the views
The stone arch is a cool feature, especially in contrast with the glazed facade of the extension
The stone arch is a cool feature, especially in contrast with the glazed facade of the extension
The panorama is dreamy, both from the main house and the extension
The panorama is dreamy, both from the main house and the extension

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