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IQON Residences

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Quito, Andean Foothills, Ecuador

December 2022


Bjarke Ingels (Design Architect)


Rene Lagos Engineers and Fernando Romo (Structural Engineer), AVS Ingeniera (Mechanical Engineer), Narvel Construcciones (Plumbing Consultant), Ciel Atelier (Landscape Consultant), Geo Estudios (Civil Consultant


Uribe Schwarzkopf


Pablo Casals Aguirre


Quito’s biophilia is carried from the public spaces below into the private domain of each home via the sculptural planters that are integrated into the architecture of the building. 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. The building also 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.

Upon entering the lobby, the material palette transitions from the raw, pared-back exterior to a more refined aesthetic; marble stone pavers complement the custom millwork reception desk, and concrete touchpoints nod to the façade. Deep emerald-green tones are utilized on the ceiling tiles, mailboxes, and through to the elevator lobby - an area located beyond a blackened-steel portal. An integrated lap pool and terraces at the top of the building offer residents a place to relax while overlooking the city. Additional building amenities include a gym and squash court; a spa; a bowling alley; entertainment rooms; and a business center.


The 390,000 sq ft building - which includes 215 residences, commercial units, office spaces, and a variety of amenities - features a notable curved corner, wrapped by serrated terraces that continue around the building's perimeter with views of the park, city and the Pichincha volcano. IQON’s architectural identity is defined by its ‘elemental’ façade; the raw, exposed concrete simultaneously functions as the building’s structure. Individual ‘pixels’ are stacked 32 floors high and rotated to provide the best possible views while simultaneously creating terraces for the apartments. 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. As the tallest building in Quito, IQON is representative of a pivotal moment in Quito’s history with the relocation of the city-center airport - from a city of sprawling low-rise structures to one that can now build vertically.


The 130m, 32-story IQON stands as the tallest residential building in the Ecuadorian capital, designed as a vertical community, and an extension of the neighboring La Carolina Park. The tower celebrates the rich biodiversity of Quito by integrating greenery throughout the building and offers inhabitants the opportunity to live as part of a community in one of the first structures marking Quito’s new skyline.

The unique climate allows for the construction of a complex building in a simple way – no insulation is needed, no air conditioning or heating is required. The building’s concrete structural facade acts as a thermal equalizer – offering lingering warmth at night, and cooling during the day. Each 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.

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).

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