IQON is BIG’s South American debut in Quito

by Editors Staff

With IQON, the vertiginous progress of Quito’s constructed skyline has reached a brand new milestone. The venture marks the completion of the primary of a pair of towers within the metropolis by Bjarke Ingels’ structure studio BIG, that looms over La Carolina, the Ecuadorian capital’s model of Central Park. At some 131m excessive, the 33-storey brutalist centrepiece turns into Quito’s tallest constructing, surpassing the Basílica del Sagrado Voto Nacional, a Roman Catholic cathedral in Quito’s historic centre.

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre)


Quito’s upwardly cell transformation has been made doable by the relief of peak limits, which moved from 15 to 40 storeys following the relocation of the worldwide airport exterior the town’s boundaries in 2015. Issues – and the town’s inhabitants – have been wanting up ever since. 

IQON’s developer, Uribe Schwarzkopf, has been main the growth in modern skyscrapers with its self-styled model of ‘wholesome urbanism’, enrolling assist from world architects like BIG, Moshe Safdie, Carlos Zapata, Jean Nouvel, Arquitectonica and MAD to reshape the town’s skyline.

IQON exterior close up

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre)

Designed to occupy an L-shaped web site, BIG’s distinctive high-rise curves across the plot from north to south creating 220 luxurious residences. They tower over the town looking at differing angles to the north or west, whereas its extra conventional east-facing flank has been given as much as fashionable workplaces.

BIG’s rotating quantity repeats itself each three flooring, giving the façade a prickly, ‘pineapple’ look. The jagged exoskeleton sample crafted from concrete blocks that stack on prime of each other, produces myriad corners, crooks and crevices which were transformed into balconies and terraces for every condominium.

IQON exterior from the ground

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre)

To melt the constructing’s brutalist, concrete shell, the structure studio launched what it calls an ‘city tree farm’, planting a collection of mid-sized bushes and shrubs from Ecuador’s wealthy biodiversity in planters occupying corners of the neighbouring residences beneath. Bushes shall be replanted within the park after they outgrow the construction, says the architect.

The tower is one thing of an architectural anomaly, in keeping with Lorenz Krisai, design lead for BIG on each IQON and the follow-up venture to the south of the park, EPIQ. The supplies and complicated end could be nearly not possible to drag off in every other local weather or for one more shopper, he says.

IQON exterior close up detail

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre)

‘A brutalist constructing like this in all probability wouldn’t have been doable anyplace else or with every other associate. Irrespective of how a lot we stored pushing the idea to its limits they stored saying, “sure”,’ he says.

Accomplished in October 2022, IQON’s putting façade has already transformed the constructing right into a photogenic addition to Quito’s spectacular present physique of brutalist structure – it contains notable examples, such because the Templo de la Patria by native architect, Milton Barragán. 

IQON exterior of balconies

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre)

Inside IQON, other than the workplace and residential providing, the developer gave over three flooring to playful communal services, together with a bowling alley, an arcade and a music room for jamming on the sixth ground, in addition to a poker site and a squash courtroom by the Olympic-sized pool on the rooftop. 

IQON apartment swimming pools

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre)

IQON apartment exteriors with pool

(Picture credit score: Pablo Casals Aguirre) (opens in new tab) 

Supply: Wallpaper

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