Cuenca’s municipal council has given the 2019 Fray Jose Maria Vargas Architectual Award to Casas del Ciprés, a condominium project in El Centro at Calle Larga and Benigno Malo.
The award ceremony will be today at 4 p.m. in the Salón de la Ciudad, as part of the celebrations of the 462 years of the Foundation of Cuenca.
Last year, Casas del Ciprés won first prize for best design in Ecuador at the XXI Pan American Architecture Biennial in Quito. It also won second prize in the international category.
Casas del Ciprés was designed by Cuenca’s Surreal Estudio and architect Carlos Espinoza Abad.
Abad, a founding partner, and architect at ISAM (Inmobiliaria San Alberto Magno), the property development company for Casas del Ciprés, Casas del Nogal, and other El Centro projects, will receive a special recognition award.
ISAM believes in the rehabilitation of run-down buildings in the historic center of Cuenca. The ISAM team, including founding members Adriana Carrasco and Juan Heredia, work hard to find derelict buildings that have the potential to be converted into comfortable, contemporary and stylish housing projects.
Made up of 24 apartments and three trade premises that front onto Calle Larga, Casas del Ciprés takes its name from the ancient cypress tree located on the river bank in front of the property and ISAM has maintained the trees found on the land.
Espinoza said, “Every time we rehabilitate and restore a house we produce a double effect. On the one hand, we add value to the neighborhood in which our projects are located. On the other, we avoid the construction of yet more new buildings on the outskirts of the city that constantly reduce the scant remaining countryside. It is an effective way to correct the errors that have been made over the last few years.”