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In Monte Sinaí


Main Materials 


Adobe blocks


Steel fixings 


Monte Sinaí, Guayaquil, Ecuador



Ellie Shouer 









This project understands the occupation of the architect as that of an enabler (J.Boys, 2014) perhaps even a mediator between the user/occupant and the desired outcome of any design project. It develops a methodology by which final design decisions are based on co-creation and combined knowledge (R.Marini, 20.11.2014) both local [of the people on site] and individual [of the architect]. Being developed at the informal settlement of Monte Sinaí in Guayaquil, Ecuador, it aims to create a material language and set of Supports which can be used and adapted directly by the local community, empowering them to take charge over their own physical environment.


The basis of this project was formed during September 2014 when Material Politics, visited the informal settlement of Monte Sinaí, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing in Ecuador and a local NGO, designed, presented, and built the SUyA prototype. In continuation of the SUyA, the project ‘SUPPORTS in Monte Sinaí’, primarily focuses on the accommodation of a collection of programmes through the application of a new construction system; a system which embraces local and natural materials (such as bamboo and adobe blocks), supports established construction knowledge, and ultimately aims to enhance Monte’s everyday life. 


The development of this project is based around two main parameters:


1. the construction system


2. examples of its application


  • Neighbours of Monte Sinaí

  • MIDUVI - Ecuador Ministry of Housing

  • Hogar de Cristo

  • Dr Leandro Minuchin

  • Manchester School of Architecture

MSA_p MArch Studio Team




Certain programmes are being addressed, all of which respond to issues raised by the community of the settlement, and primarily focus on the lack of physical infrastructure to support everyday economical, formal, and informal activities.


The construction system is presented and analysed through a collection of components. At the same time, a set of examples are demonstrated which aim to show the system’s direct manifestation into building outcomes. All the examples developed are merely to illustrate how this construction system can facilitate both new and existing kinds of activities carried out by the local community. These sort of realisations are left, in actuality, to the people of Monte Sinaí and their independent interpretation and application of the construction system.






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