Quito's tallest building will be an 'urban tree farm'
Rising 33-stories, the stack of concrete boxes that will make up the IQON tower in Quito, Ecuador, will become the city's tallest building. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, the firm's first project in South America recently began construction.
Plans for the residential tower involve the creation of an 'urban tree farm'—"we are letting La Carolina park climb up and into the building by planting native trees and plants on the terraces," says the architects. Each terrace will host a different species of tree, allowing the building's façade to celebrate the country's biodiversity.
But, the scheme goes beyond the typical phenomenon of vertical forests by incorporating the trees into part of a green cycle. "Once the vegetation planted on the terraces of the building outgrows their planters, they can be replanted in parks all over the city," the firm explains.
The design is a series of stacked, concrete boxes, rotated to provide the best possible views and create outdoor space. The curved tower overlooks the massive La Carolina Park, and offers sweeping views of the country's famous volcanoes.
The project will be in good company; Safdie Architects recently revealed plans of their own for a 24-story residential tower with planted terraces, overlooking the 165.5. acre park. Other high-profile starchitects and designers such as Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Phillippe Starck have announced projects as well, sure to transform the capital's skyline.