Walking down the streets of La Floresta Neighbourhood, we found a particular house in the corner of Valladoid Street and Pontevedra. It was a typical house, painted all in black. We went in and the garden welcomed us with bright greens and walls with urban art. The well maintained house, traditional of La Floresta, and the new, psychedelic furniture makes one feel in an unknown time: nor in the past, present or future.
This is “La casa Mutante” which means “the mutant house”, a co-working space for people to generate new ideas, and which invites you to share them with others in workshops.
We took a look at the different spaces and found a series of working studios together with meeting rooms, full of colours, each one designed with its own style. At the end of the corridor was a ladder, which both intrigues and invites you to go up. We went up and found ourselves on the terrace, next to the roof tiles, in front of a panoramic view of Quito and of course La Floresta.
Once below again, we went out of the house and down stairs to find out another type of garden and glass doors leading to a large room where we were given a presentation about the activities of “La casa Mutante”.
Originally the house was a community place where the neighbors used to gather, but these good practices started to disappear. In 2005 Aquiles Jarrin and Bettina Stauber rented the unused space of the house and started the idea of a co-working, art and delicatessen community place. The idea at first, besides co-working possibility, was that you can buy any of the accessories or furniture inside the house and this way the space would always be changing. Still, it took a long time to make the objects and restyling would be very expensive, so the idea had to be left apart. They also started selling brunch and lunch, unfortunately nowadays there is no time to make so, but they often cook for meetings or events.
La casa Mutante became a place to share knowledge, or abilities in painting, cooking through a variety of workshops; a place for expositions, music, dancing, yoga, art and cooking.
“The mutants”, this is how the coworkers are called. Some of them had already left the house, following their careers, still thanks to the mutant network, they are never too far away.
Aquiles and Bettina offer two permanent programs apart of the co-working space. One is Pawawa, a children laboratory open everyday to teach children art, music, dance, theater and not leading children lose their creativity. Once a week the children of all laboratories meet in a jam session to interact. The other permanent program is yoga and meditation classes, in which people often travel to retirement houses for a couple of days. La casa Mutante is also part of “Talleres Abiertos Quito” (Quito opened workshops), an initiative of the municipality in which during one week, cultural authors open their creation spaces to the community