Pixelated skyscraper conceived as soaring extension of nearby park
The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has officially completed its first project in South America. Named Iqon, the skyscraper is the tallest building in Ecuador's capital Quito, and features an eye-catching concrete pixelated facade that hosts trees and plants that will cover it in green.
Developed by Uribe Schwarzkopf, Iqon took a total of four years to complete and rises to a height of 130 m (425 ft), surpassing Quito's previous tallest building, the 83.4 m (274 ft) Metropolitan by some margin. The tower is situated near a park and is envisioned as an extension of the park's own vegetation – admittedly Iqon doesn't look all that green at the moment, but its plants and trees will continue to grow to enliven the building and will even eventually be planted elsewhere.
"Iqon's architectural identity is defined by its 'stripped back' facade; the raw, exposed concrete simultaneously functions as the building's structure," said BIG. "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.
"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."
Inside, Iqon's 32 floors host a total floorspace of 390,000 sq ft (roughly 36,000 sq m). Much of this is taken up by 215 apartments, which offer choice views of the local landscape and terrace areas thanks to the pixelated exterior. Elsewhere in the building are office space and amenities, including a rooftop swimming pool, a gym and a bowling alley.
Iqon rounds off a remarkably busy year for BIG and is actually the fourth notable skyscraper to be revealed by the high-profile firm in 2022, following the CapitaSpring, Vancouver House and Telus Sky Tower.