the nest of al borde’ quilico, a shelter for paratroopers

“the quilico nest” is an underground shelter for paratroopers, built by students as part of the al borde studio in the universidad tecnológica indoamérica in ecuador. the project is a low-budget construction with low-tech materials such as earth, wood and recycled tires, designed and built by the students throughout the semester. the learning methodology applied by the teachers was based on learning by doing while focusing on real projects.

designed by three students – darío cárdenas, jonathan proaño and daniel sandoval – the quilico nest is located in a field where paratroopers depart and land. due to this condition, it is forbidden to build in the area for safety reasons. nevertheless, as the shelter is underground, the students of al borde managed to obtain a permit to build the shelter for ten people.

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

the project was inspired by darío cárdenas’ paragliding hobby and the disadvantages he faced in the field. when skydivers arrive at the starting point, they usually have to wait at least three hours before they can fly. thus, cárdenas came up with the idea of ​​a shelter for himself and his paraglider friends to be able to lock down while waiting with a magnificent view of the natural landscape.

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

The quilico nest was installed without the help of professional builders – students built the shelter with their own hands and with a little effort from tourists visiting the site and friends. ‘it was cool to see everyone helping out,’ said dario cardenas. ‘a few guys from the paragliding club contributed financially, one gave us bricks, another brought us all the plastic we needed, and little by little the project was born.’

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

underground architecture: al borde students installed a shelter for paratroopers in ecuador

project info:

professors: at the edge
teaching assistant: Stephanie Amstutz
institution: UTI – universidad tecnológica indoamérica
project: Nido del Quilico
students: dario cardenas, jonathan proano and daniel sandoval
semester: April – August 2016
site: pelileo, tungurahua, ecuador
photography : JAG studio, darío cardenas & al borde

designboom received this project from our ‘DIY Submissions‘, where we invite our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: maria erman | design boom

Bonny J. Streater