Ruku Kucho Center for the Elderly
Ecuador
image: Estudio Pieza Arquitectura | © all rights reserved
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Location:
Ecuador
Category:
health & sanitation
Phase:
design development
Updated:
23 August 2021
Ruku Kucho Center for the Elderly, promoted by CEMSI and the Committee for Improvement of Atucucho, seeks to create a center dedicated to the care and leisure of the third age. The project sees the elders as active members of the society and creates a stage to link with them. Therefore it contains open spaces that promote intergenerational activities as well as private spaces with rooms for permanent residents.
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Introduction
Ruku Kucho project proposes the construction of a center for the elderly in Atucucho in Quito, Ecuador. Atucucho is one of the approximately 480 informal neighborhoods according to the Office of Land and Housing, many of which do not meet basic standards for life (UN Habitat). 

After its formation, thirty years ago, is still in the process of legalization. Despite its consolidation, a high degree of self-management and its entry into the database of “Neighborhood Governments”, Atucucho still lacks infrastructure such as: a complete sewerage network, service efficient drinking water, well-served public and recreational spaces, appropriate pedestrian and road access, among others (Andrés Sánchez). 

Within this context, the CEMSI (Centro de Madres al Servicio de la Infancia), the Committee for Improvement and the local community is always searching for alternative resources. Leidi Sánchez, one of the main leaders of Atucucho, has been working with the community in the construction of the kindergarten for 120 kids, the management of the community house, programs for the youth and the attention of the elderly population.

As an office, we started to work along with CEMSI from 2013 in several projects, one of them is the Center for the Elderly. Atucucho has a population of 8700 inhabitants, of which approximately 540 are people over 60 years of age. The project seeks to create a space for seniors citizens, that until now has been carried out in places of communal use.
Meeting in the community house

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Impact
Ruku Kucho Center can contribute to the development, not only of the elderly population, but also of the whole community. The project is linked to motivating the role of the elderly in our society as an active member. In this way, the objectives were established, such as exalting the life experiences of the elderly as a contribution and teaching tool, as well as giving autonomy, both to the center and to the senior citizens, creating intergenerational relationships.

The modality of the center according to the law established by MIES (Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion) is established in a first stage as a Gerontological Center for day care, together with alternative spaces for revitalization, recreation, socialization and meeting, in addition to home care. The second stage includes an expansion for a residential Gerontology Center.

The areas proposed for the center work both for the workshops and also alternative spaces that users feel like their own, spaces that feel like home and they can come at any time during the day. Outdoor spaces in relation to the city, urban furniture and green areas. 

Sustainable architecture is one that resists, endures and remains over time, economically, socially and environmental. For this reason, strategies were designed such as the implementation of productive spaces that can cover some needs of the center; a small shop and a bakery. The store can be leased and within the bakery, products can be generated for sale.
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Core team
The project has been proposed and developed by:
- CEMSI (Centro de madres al servicio de la infancia): 
The Center was created without profit, in order to create projects to guarantee a dignified quality of life and the full use of the rights of vulnerable groups in Atucucho. CEMSI is a community organization with 25 years, in the beginning it was only a space designed for children care, but currently it also focuses on people with disabilities, care for the elderly, and community entrepreneurship programs.

The organization identifies the emotional, social and prejudice problems that these groups face, proposing solutions and participatory projects to link them with the community. The mission of CEMSI is to be able to reach the most vulnerable sectors of the Atucucho neighborhood, in order to manage resources to help and guide, through a work of social support, so that the referred groups develop methods of independence and personal autonomy (Paulina Quishpe).

- Comité Pro-mejoras Atucucho: Committee for improvements in the Atucucho neighborhood: non-profit private law organization, regulated by the civil code, with its own assets, autonomous administration and legal status, with legal capacity to exercise rights and contract obligations.

- Estudio Pieza Arquitectura: Founded in 2015 by Karen González Jiménez and José David Bernal, it is an architecture and construction company dedicated to researching and creating places with ideal conditions for human development; a company focused on the experience of living. 
Leidi Sanchez of CEMSI in the plot for the Elderly Center.

image: public domain
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Image gallery
View of the dining room, rehabilitation and administration.

image: Estudio Pieza Arquitectura | © all rights reserved
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View of bedrooms, rest and recreation area

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General view of the building

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View of the entrance to the workshops

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View of the main circulation

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View of the main space for workshops, health care and classes

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Technical drawings
Location of the project

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First level

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Second level

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Third level

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Fourth level

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Roof

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Section A

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Section D and elevation

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Front elevation

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Axonometry

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Help bring our project to life!

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Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
The project has been develop until the design phase with the approval of CEMSI, the Comité Pro-mejoras Atucucho and the eldelry group. We were able to coordinate human resources between the local community and the architecture team members of the office. Within the financial resources, the association alreadly has an available plot that is located in the neighborhood and that can be used for the Center for the Elderly.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
10% funding already raised
30% expertise already found
Finance: € 200,000
Ruku Kucho Center for Elderly can contribute to the development, not only of the elderly population, but also of the whole community. The expected result is looking at this project as a central piece of the neighborhood. Together with the social organizations of Atucucho we are looking for financial and technical resources in order to develop the project.
  • Financial resource
  • 200,000
    Skills: Technique, Financial advice, Design, Planning & Management
    Although the architectural project has been develop, it needs the contribution to develop the structural, electrical and sanitary engineering plans. Also financial advice in order to develop the construction and a proposal for the administrative management of the center in the future.
    View of the site

    image: Estudio Pieza Arquitectura | © all rights reserved
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    Stuff: Materials, Equipment & tools
    Since the project has been develop only in a design phase it is in need of the equipment, tools and materials in order to start the construction phase.
    Help bring our project to life!
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