The GM Palace

This spectacular Cuenca Patrimonial home was built in 1890 by the Cuencano poet Ernesto Lopez Diez, inspired by a trip he took to France, and designed in the french style of the early 1900’s.   Ernest Moscoso (Gustavo Moscoso’s father) bought the house in 1995, intending to restore it.  After his father’s death, when Gustavo was only 19, the house was closed up for 15 years.

The house belonged to the Moscoso family for more than 30 years, but it was not until 2014 that they began the meticulous process of restoration

The house has four levels.  There is a car park on the ground floor which used to be a vegetable garden.  Also on the ground floor are offices and design spaces for Gustavo’s fashion business.  

Gustavo Moscoso, is a famous Ecuadorian fashion designer.  He began the restoration of his family’s home in 2014, along with his sister May. (GM Palace stands for Gustavo and May) They maintained the architectural elements and hand painted murals of the style from when the house was built.  They researched the history of the house, and of its architect, Ernesto Lopez Diez, the first owner.  But in the interior decoration they made some changes, and mixed styles.  For Gustavo it was really important to rescue and renovate the existing home, but at the same time keeping its usefulness up to date.  It is a dazzling timeless combination of old and new.  

They brought pieces of furniture from their father’s store, and three chandeliers from their mother’s house.  The sofas, leather armchairs and other furniture were made by hand by Cuenca artisans. 

The second floor includes the kitchen, dining room, and grand sala.

These ceilings are made of polychrome brass, a design element seen in Cuenca homes of the french design in the early 1900’s.

The master bedroom is on the third floor, with the master bath partitioned off with tempered glass behind the bed. 

Hidden in the room are stairs which take you further up to a very magical space in the house.

The fourth floor is a comfortable anteroom attic which leads to the observation deck on the very top of the house. The Observation attic was created by the original owner/builder, because he was an astronomer, and he wanted to study the stars.

There is another flight of stairs up to the actual outdoor observation deck.

Once there, you are treated to a dizzying dazzling 360 degree view of all of Cuenca’s Historical district.

Gustavo Moscoso’s fashion business has a strong family background.  Ernesto Moscoso Fuentes was a cloth merchant in Cuenca.  He married May Ferrando, from Chile. Gustavo took over the business at 19, when his father died suddenly.  He began to import foreign fabrics, and then made a collection of designs with these fabrics.  He launched his first collection in 2001.  His main store is in Guayaquil in the Plaza Lagos.  From Cuenca and Guayaquil he branched out internationally. His successful collections are shown in Buenos Aires, Panama, Cancun, New York, Lima, and Paris.

These painted dresses are a collection put together by Gustavo and his design colleague Olga Doumet, in a collaboration with other designers and artists. The collection is called Ispirato Corpo, which has been shown at the Bienale of Contemporary Art.

The house also is a showcase for some of Gustavo’s collection of contemporary art from different artists in Cuenca and Latin America.

Gustavo has plans to possibly someday turn part of this spectacular house into a restaurant, or jazz club.  It  also can be available as an Airbnb, for a once in a lifetime Cuenca experience.