Cluster of greenery covered towers take the sting out of Ecuador's heat
Following its temporary walkway, MVRDV has unveiled a project on a far grander and more permanent scale. Slated for Guayaquil, Ecuador, The Hills will consist of six residential towers which incorporate significant greenery and sustainable design features including a focus on passive ventilation and shading.
The project's half-dozen residential towers will range from 92 m (301 ft) for the shortest tower, up to 143 m (469 ft) for the tallest, and they will be arranged to rise in height as they move away from the riverfront, echoing the local topography.
The towers will be topped by green roofs and sport greenery filled balconies. At their base, the six buildings will connect to form a large terraced "valley" area containing swimming pools, sports fields, and a large amphitheater facing the riverfront, as well as yet more greenery.
Elsewhere will be retail space, a clubhouse and other amenities, plus a route for pedestrians to easily cross the site at ground level. The homes in each high-rise will range from small apartments for individuals to larger residences suitable for families.
While this collection of towers can't really be considered truly sustainable (they're not made out of wood, for example), the sustainable design features are notable. These include solar power to reduce the electricity draw on the grid, heat pump-based energy efficient heating and cooling, rainwater collection systems for irrigation use, and an overall design that focuses on natural ventilation and shading.
"Many of these features were developed to provide a sustainable response to the warm climate of Guayaquil," explained MVRDV. "The wide balconies shade the glass facade, while the positioning of the towers and the curved shapes help to improve ventilation, allowing breezes to flow across the site unimpeded. The abundant greenery helps to cool the surroundings, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the building and making the valley itself a comfortable, welcoming environment for both residents and visitors."
The Hills is MVRDV's first project in South America and was commissioned by developer Uribe Schwarzkopf. We've no word yet on when it's expected to be completed.