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Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Ecuador Architecture News - Dec 09, 2022 - 13:48   2765 views

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

A series of rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower, which is the tallest building in Quito, the Ecuadorian capital. 

Called IQON, the 130-metre skyscraper has been completed after four years of construction, in which BIG unveiled its first conceptual design in 2018. 

The completion of the skyscraper is the first built project of BIG in South America. 

Developed for Quito-based architectural developer Uribe Schwarzkopf, the company commissioned Bjarke Ingels Group to design a skyscraper in 2017 in Quito, a city known with dense low-rise buildings in Ecuador

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © BICUBIK

Aiming to grow the skyline upwards, BIG has designed a 55,000-square-metre mixed-use residential skyscraper, including 215 residences, commercial units, office spaces, and a variety of amenities. 

In addition to BIG's IQON skyscraper, BIG's other project, EPIQ Residences, located nearby, is slated to finish construction in 2023.

The other project is QORNER designed by Safdie Architects for the same developer. Safdie Architects' QORNER project is under construction in the La Carolina neighborhood. 

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © BICUBIK

"IQON (by BIG) and QORNER (by Safdie Architects) represent the ongoing transformation of Quito into a cornerstone of architecture, design and innovation. Not only do the new buildings contribute to the skyline of the city, but celebrate our partnerships with the most exciting, internationally renowned architects in the world," said Tommy Schwarzkopf, Co-Founder, Uribe Schwarzkopf. 

"As the first residents move in and businesses begin to take space in the building, we are looking forward to seeing each building come to life and become part of the fabric of the city," Schwarzkopf added.

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © BICUBIK

IQON is conceived as a vertical community, and an extension of the neighboring La Carolina Park, which visually continues up onto the building facade. 

The key feature of the skyscraper is its notable curved corner, wrapped by terraces that acts as a continuous element around the building's perimeter to provide sweeping views of the park, city, and the Pichincha volcano.

The skyscraper's architectural identity is shaped by its "stripped back" façade. Thanks to a raw, exposed concrete, the material and geometry "simultaneously function as the building’s structure", according to BIG.

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

The tower contains individual "pixels" that are stacked as 32 floors and rotated to provide the best possible views while simultaneously creating terraces for the apartments. This also creates a unity throughout the building. 

Celebrating native trees and plants, the building integrates greenery wherever possible to take advantage of Ecuador’s temperate climate and ecology – the country with the most plant species per square meter in the world.

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

"We’ve tried to take all the iconic qualities of Quito – such as the enjoyment of living in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, in a city on the equator where the seasons are perfect for both human and plant life – and bring that experience into the vertical dimension," said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG

"IQON is an entire vertical community of individual homes; an extension of La Carolina Park that now climbs all the way up to the rooftop," Ingels added.

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Generous public spaces, retail units, and public art are placed on the ground floor plaza includes. It functions as a new east-west pathway, connecting the park to the rest of the neighborhood. 

The material palette in the lobby transitions from the raw, pared-back exterior to a more refined aesthetic, such as marble stone pavers complement the custom millwork reception desk, and concrete touchpoints nod to the façade. 

Deep emerald-green tones are preferred on the ceiling tiles, mailboxes, and through to the elevator lobby – located beyond a blackened-steel portal. 

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

The design of public spaces responds to Quito’s biophilia, while sculptural planters are integrated into the architecture of the building. The planters are also carried out to the private domain of each home.

"The planters become a unique concrete sculpture inside the apartments – creating space for the root zone of the tree for the apartment terrace above – while transforming the façade of the building into a celebration of Quito’s verdant biodiversity," said BIG.

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

According to BIG, the skyscraper acts as "an urban tree farm: once the vegetation planted on the terraces outgrows its planter, it can be replanted in parks all over the city. In this way, the building becomes part of a green cycle – from park to building, and back to park."

"Each apartment floor features through-units – apartments that have terraces on both the north and south facades – which not only allows for views across the entire city, but also offers the opportunity for cross ventilation and a sense of openness," said Thomas Christoffersen, Partner, BIG.  

At the top of the building, the team designs an integrated lap pool and terraces to offer residents a place to relax while overlooking the city.

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Additional building amenities contain a gym and squash court; a spa; a bowling alley; entertainment rooms; and a business center. 

IQON is the first mixed-use building in Quito to have a preliminary EDGE certification, granted by GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.) and IFC (International Finance Corporation).

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © Pablo Casals Aguirre

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © BICUBIK

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © BICUBIK

Rotated concrete residences form BIG's new residential tower in Quito

Image © BICUBIK

Other new projects in Ecuador is The Hills residential towers, designed by MVRDV and stone-clad Aquarela complex designed by Jean Nouvel. See more projects from Ecuador on WAC. 

Project facts

Name: IQON 
Size: 390,000 sq ft / 55,000 m2
Location: Quito, Ecuador 
Client: Uribe Schwarzkopf

Collaborators: Rene Lagos Engineers and Fernando Romo (local Structural Engineers), CCP Wind Tunnel (Wind Consultant), Geo Estudios (Civil Consultant), Trialmech (Mechanical Consultant), Incoayam (Plumbing Consultant), Consel (Electrical Consultant), Estrusa (Consultant). 

Project Team  

Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen

Project Designer: Lorenz Krisai 

Project Architect: Lucia Sanchez Ramirez, Stephanie Choi 

Team: Amir Mikhaeil, Andrea Di Pompeo, Angel Barreno Gutiérrez, Benjamin Caldwell, Benjamin Novacinski, Chi Yin Kwok, Chengjie Li, Claire Djang, Clara Sanfeliu, Deborah Campbell, Douglass Alligood, Francesca Portesine, Jason Wu, Jan Leenknegt, Josiah Poland, Juan David Ramirez, Ma Ning, Magdalena Narkiewicz, Margaret Tyrpa, Maria Sole Bravo, Peter Sepassi, Rune Wriedt, Sebastian Grogaard, Sijia Zhou, Stephanie Choi, Stephanie Mauer, Terrence Chew, Tracy Sodder, Ying Yi Cai, Ziad Shehab.

Top image © BICUBIK.

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