Bjarke Ingels Group and Safdie Architects towers complete in Quito

BIG’s Iqon and Safdie Architects’ Qorner courtesy of Uribe Schwarzkopf
Two high-rise projects have been completed in the capital of Ecuador: Iqon, designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and Qorner by Safdie Architects. Both were developed by Quito-based real estate company Uribe Schwarzkopf.

Work began on Iqon in 2018. On completion, it is 131m high, with 55,000 sq m of floor space occupied by 220 residences, 36 offices and five shops. Homes in the tower, the tallest in Quito, are a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms, as well as nine penthouses.

Iqon courtesy of Pablo Casals Aguirre

The tower will also contain rooftop pool and a ground-floor plaza, as well as a gym and squash court, spa with sauna and Jacuzzi, bowling alley, music room, poker room, business centre and vegetable garden.

The façade is shaped by a cascade of concrete boxes running the length of the building. Balconies are covered with native trees and plants that will grow to cover the building over the coming years.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG’s founder, said: “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.”

Qorner courtesy of Uribe Schwarzkopf

Work has also been completed on Safdie Architects’ Qorner building, a 24-storey tower with 16,250 sq m of floor space, overlooking La Carolina Park.

Qorner has 92 flats, two retail spaces and restaurants. Homes are vertically stacked homes in a staggered configuration, creating double-height corner terraces.

Landscaped terraces on each floor create a “hillside” for the building, offering outside space and natural shade.

Sean Scensor, Safdie Architects’ partner, said: “Being able to collaborate on a project in a year-round comfortable climate with both an ambitious client and a creative structural engineer presented a unique opportunity to advance our experimental thinking on housing typology.

“The result is Qorner’s unique design, which combines a fractalised structure, hanging gardens, and generous indoor and outdoor living.”

Tommy Schwarzkopf, Uribe Schwarzkopf’s co-founder, said: “Iqon and Qorner 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 they celebrate our partnerships with the most exciting, internationally renowned architects in the world.

“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.”

It was announced in 2018 that Quito would be the home of the world’s longest cable car, costing $600m.

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