SULA is a prefabricated cabin in the woods nestled in the Galápagos Islands, designed and constructed in Quito, Ecuador from a combination of wood, PVC, metal, stone, and glass. It took 2000 custom-made components joined together via 17,000 screws and pins to make up this home. The various elements are then transported to Santa Cruz Island in two containers where it is assembled on site.

Architect Diana Salvador designed this A-frame home as a peaceful retreat and a comfortable living space for a family who has lived on the Galápagos Islands for over forty years. The cabin structure, which is named after the suliformes bird genus “piqueros,” was built with a commitment to minimize ecological impact and to be harmonious with the residents and the surrounding environments.

As such, SULA was prefabricated offsite to prevent any harm to its island terrain. It took over two months for the prefabrication after which the components mentioned above were transported in two trucks from Quito to the Guayaquil port. Then from there it was shipped in containers to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. The assembly only took a month with the help of four plant technicians and six itinerant experts from the mainland. 

The materials used in this home was specifically chosen based on their efficiency with plywood mostly used for the structure, the ceiling, interior walls,  and furniture. Then the roofs are made with PVC sheets and they also serve as waterproof umbrellas to enhance the cabin’s resilience. Meanwhile, elevating the structure allows air currents to form a cold air chamber underneath for ventilation and perforations in the floor and walls also permit cross-ventilation. 

What’s even more outstanding about the design of SULA is its scalability and adaptability. Its components are designed like a large-scale LEGO that can be disassembled, relocated, and reassembled to different environments and landscapes. The cabin also uses gavions as foundations so it can easily be disassembled with minimal effect to the soil. 

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Images courtesy of Jag Studio