Living Architecture - Way More Than Just a Roof Above Your Head
by Manuela Botero - Journalist, Writer and Entrepreneur
My SachaJí Wellness Hotel functions as a living organism - the architecture is respectfully integrated into the nature, following her rhythm and honoring her strenght and beauty. My SachaJí was inspired by the round Inca temple Ingapirca - the perfect way to integrate the buildings into the picturesque panorama.
"When I started the project, I read a lot about feng shui, sacred geometry and sustainable architecture”, says Maria Teresa, Ponce, a young Ecuadorian architect and photographer, who brought this unique hotel to life five years ago. “It was at that stage when the curves, inspired by the round Inca temple Ingapirca, began to appear as the best way to integrate the buildings into this living panorama."
The first thing she did was to replace the introduced eucalyptus for native species that restore the earth. Afterwards she planted an organic garden, cultivated according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, serving as an inexhaustible producer of fruits, fresh vegetables, herbs and medicinal plants. All of them enrich the daily menus of My SachaJí, that include Andean ingredients such as quinoa, avocado and organic chocolate.
How's that for a sustainable solution? Let llamas cut the grass!The architectural design adapts itself harmoniously and discreetly to the mountain slopes where separate structures are embedded into the earth. The green roofs covering these structures (where only stone chimney ducts are found that also hold hammocks) reduce the carbon footprint and allow a 360° uninterrupted view at the Imbabura Volcano and Lake San Pablo at his feet.
The use of river stones on the façade, also inspired by Inca constructions, helps to keep spaces warm and requires less maintenance than paint. Other sustainable design concepts include the use of 2000 re-used car tires, which serve as seismic and thermal insulation, as well as the use of natural resources, like llamas that help to cut the grass. The sun’s proximity to the equatorial Andes is perfect for the use of several types of solar panels throughout the hotel. Surrounded by the elements within the property: earth, wind, fire and water.
An energetic equilibrium is also given through the presence of the four elements throughout the property - earth, wind, fire and water – which are represented by specific places, for example the hot-tub, the fire-pit, the wind-ribbon forest and the orchard pergola where the Andean Energy Cleansings are done.
My SachaJí follows an overall holistic concept and philosophy where everything is in balance to provide well-being: the natural environment, architecture, man, animals and food.
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