Natura Futura Arquitectura, an architecture and design firm based in Babahoyo, Ecuador builds structural solutions that redefine community engagement. Committed to finding and bringing to life solutions for unhouse individuals who face societal challenges in everyday life, Natura Futura Arquitectura conceived The Ambulantito.
Conceptualized through the lens of those experiencing poverty in Ecuador, The Ambulantito was designed to be woven into the urban fabric of Latin American cities. The mobile kiosk provides privacy and a canopy with its A-frame structure for times when the weather requires shelter. Mounted on wheels, The Ambulantito is as much a stationary shelter as it is a traveling kiosk from which unhoused individuals can sell goods to generate income.
Designed to be protective, yet simple, The Ambulantito’s frame is built from welded metal rods, which are then overlaid with panels of locally sourced timber. The structure’s A-frame roof is complete with two eaves, one that unfolds to reveal The Abulantito’s storage shelf, where goods can be placed and sold, and the other fixed. The versatile frame of The Ambulantito at first provides a sort of mobile safebox, where folding lattice doors secure people’s belongings and goods intended for sale and then transform to become a traveling kiosk or bed with an overhead roof come night.
The changing personality of The Ambulantito was created by Natura Futura Arquitectura to adapt to the mobile lifestyle of unhoused individuals in Ecuador. With indigence rates steadily growing, the mobile shelter functions as a first step towards more permanent solutions for the societal struggles that overwhelm unhoused communities across Latin American cities.
Speaking on the design and its intended purpose, Natura Futura Arquitectura remarks, “The Ambulantito is a first small step towards raising awareness of urgent needs such as shelter, productivity, and human safety, seeking to be an engine of consciousness that opens up new possibilities and reflections on our role of responsibility regarding the realities of the city.”
Designer: Natura Futura Arquitectura
Mounted on wheels, The Ambulantito was designed to integrate the mobile lifestyle of unhoused individuals living in Ecuador.
Designed to be versatile and inconspicuous, The Ambulantito changes and blends in with the urban framework of Ecuador.
A foldable lattice wooden door provides protections for goods intended for sale and unhoused individuals’ personal belongings.
One eave folds up to reveal storage space that functions as a sales shelf for goods to purchase.
The Ambulantito comes complete with a chalkboard where the goods can be advertised for sale.
Come night, unhoused individuals can transform The Ambulantito into a sleeping space with coverage from the natural elements.