Al Borde is a Quito, Ecuador-based studio, whose Principals Pascual Gangotena, David Barragán, Marialuisa Borja and Esteban Benavides champion an improvisational, collaborative approach to design. Resisting theory and dogma, their projects seek to enhance local development and engage communities in social innovation. Recognized globally for its process, the firm was named to Domus’ guide to the world’s best architecture firms in 2019.
Al Borde often works on projects with low budgets; they attempt to turn scarcity of resources into an advantage, considering not just money, but also skills, knowledge, materials, property, or even friends and acquaintances as assets in the project. Each of the firm’s projects is shaped by vernacular practices and natural or upcycled materials available on-site.