Quality of design influences other projects

La calidad del diseño se imponeThose human settlements of a social natural with dozens, even hundreds, of identical houses in straight lines are well-known throughout the world. EcoSouth colleagues are struggling to change this situation by introducing variety and creativity in these neighborhoods. An example in Honduras shows how sometimes one experience can influence others.


After Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998 many organizations set about building houses for the victims. One of the most ambitious projects is “Ciudad España”, a satellite city some 25km from Tegucigalpa and on the edge of an area of industrial development. In a government finca a plan was made for 2,500 houses. Our colleagues at EcoVide were able to participate in this development through two different projects whereby they have built almost 500 houses.

Together with a delegation of beneficiaries it was decided to opt for the hillside areas of this natural valley. On one hand, most other organizations were going to opt for the central plane areas, on the other hand the EcoVide beneficiaries fell in love with the idea of living “up high”, closer to the treetops. 

While the large overall project foresaw a “traditional” urban plan with straight lines and did not take the natural surroundings into consideration. EcoVide recurred to the collaboration of other EcoSouth colleagues to develop an settlement plan that contemplates integrating the natural environment, with roadways following the natural curves on the hillside in order to minimize the falling of trees. The plan was accepted by the authorities and received favorable comments.


Nevertheless, when an enterprise contracted by the government began to convert the idyllic valley into what many people called a “lunar landscape”, the authorities changes the rules of the game and EcoVide had to accept that its plots would have to be terraced, with individual containing walls.

betaniaWhile the urban design was lost in this process, the community of “La Betania” began to build its houses with the attractive and varied design of the EcoSouth team.  These houses presented a strong contrast to the simple and monotonous designs of the houses that were being built on the flat areas. Very quickly the people “from below” began to refer to Betania houses as “the residential neighborhood” and to the residents as “the rich”. This, although the houses built for EcoVide were even more economical.

Thus, with time other projects began to be influenced and also designed more varied houses, and one project even assumed a similar style to those of EcoVide with creative variations in the form of the roof. As construction of “Ciudad España” comes to a close, it is possible to see some 1,500 houses with various styles, forms and materials. Although within the neighborhoods there is not much variation, the settlement presents itself in a much better light that if it had been built without the architectonic leadership of EcoVide and its consultants.


You are here: Home Past editions Edition # 8, November 2004 Quality of design influences other projects


Marcelino Castro
Civil Engineer (MSc)
Spanish, English, Russian.
MCR tiles, instruction, quality control, experience in many cultures.


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