Bjarke Ingels describes BIG’s first project in South America as an 'urban tree farm'

by Andrew Manns | 17 Oct 2018
We're creating a vertical community by planting native trees and plants on the terraces and letting Parque La Carolina climb up and into the building
– Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels has announced his firm's first project in South America.

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have designed The IQON in Quito, Ecuador – set to be the tallest structure in the city when completed, offering views of the city and the volcanoes and nature beyond. The building was commissioned by for developer Uribe & Schwarzkopf.

The residential tower will overlook the expansive Parque La Carolina and have terraced gardens, with planting echoing that of the park.

Ingels said BIG will create a vertical community, by planting native trees and plants on the terraces.

"We are letting Parque La Carolina climb up and into the building," he explained.

Quito is one of the highest cities in the world at 2,820m and its location on the equator provides comfortable temperatures all year round.

Equador is the country with the most plant species per square meter in the world and reflecting this, each apartment will have a different species of tree, so the entire facade of the building becomes a vertical display of the biodiversity of Quito.

Once vegetation outgrows its planter – around every five years – it will be replanted in parks all over the city.

Ingels says: "In this way, the building acts as an urban 'tree farm' and part of a green cycle – from park to building and back to park."

The 33-storey, 35,000 sq m building will be constructed of modular concrete boxes, specified by specialists from Reg Hough Associates, with each rotated to provide the best views and create outdoor terraces for each apartment.

The building will feature a number of leisure amenities, including a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city and will have a public plaza and retail space at street level.

Each floor will feature 'through units' – apartments which have terraces on both north and south facades, which allow for views across the city and also "the opportunity for cross-ventilation and a sense of openness."

Structural engineers for the project are Rene Lagos, with geological surveys by Geo Studios and further collaborations with naturalist Fernando Romo. Wind engineers are Cermak Peterka Petersen (CPP).

Bjarke Ingels  Quito  Iqon  South America  Ecuador 
Bjarke Ingels has announced his firm's first project in South America. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have designed The IQON in Quito, Ecuador – set to be the tallest structure in the city when completed, offering views of the city and the volcanoes and nature beyond. The building was commissioned by for developer Uribe & Schwarzkopf. The residential tower will overlook the expansive Parque La Carolina and have terraced gardens, with
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The IQON will have a public plaza and retail space at its base / Courtesy of BIG
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