Architecture

Unique tower makes space for meeting in the middle

Unique tower makes space for m...
The Unique tower is defined by its three-story gap roughly at its center, which creates an open-air space for residents to relax and socialize
The Unique tower is defined by its three-story gap roughly at its center, which creates an open-air space for residents to relax and socialize
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The Unique tower is defined by its three-story gap roughly at its center, which creates an open-air space for residents to relax and socialize
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The Unique tower is defined by its three-story gap roughly at its center, which creates an open-air space for residents to relax and socialize
The Unique tower's open-air common area features outdoor lounges and barbecue areas, as well as a swimming pool
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The Unique tower's open-air common area features outdoor lounges and barbecue areas, as well as a swimming pool
The Unique tower's amenities for residents includes a gym
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The Unique tower's amenities for residents includes a gym
The Unique tower has a total floorspace of 18,846 sq m (202,000 sq ft) and includes 99 apartments
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The Unique tower has a total floorspace of 18,846 sq m (202,000 sq ft) and includes 99 apartments
The Unique tower features a games room that contains some arcade machines and table football
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The Unique tower features a games room that contains some arcade machines and table football
The Unique tower's apartments feature generous glazing that frames the views over Quito
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The Unique tower's apartments feature generous glazing that frames the views over Quito
The Unique tower's communal open-air area at its center is three stories tall
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The Unique tower's communal open-air area at its center is three stories tall
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With a name like Unique, you'd hope that designers Carlos Zapata Studio and Uribe Schwarzkopf's recently completed tower would offer something a little different from the norm. Thankfully it delivers with a curving facade that's planted with trees and an open air communal area at roughly its middle allowing residents to socialize.

Unique, which is also referred to as Unique Quito and Unique Residences, is a mixed-use residential tower in Ecuador's capital consisting of 24 floors and 99 apartments boasting spacious interiors and floor-to-ceiling glazing framing views of the city.

The greenery planted on the glass and aluminum building's facade will continue to grow and consists of local trees to offer a sense of continuity with the surrounding landscape.

The big draw for residents though is that open-air area half way up the building, which is three stories tall and contains a swimming pool and some lounge space. There’s also a second outdoor space up on the rooftop that has another pool and lounge area. Elsewhere, the building boasts resident amenities including a games room, a gymnasium, and a business center.

There has been some thought paid to Unique's sustainability too. The greenery is irrigated by stored rainwater and greywater is also reused, making for an estimated 33 percent reduction in water use from the public supply, according to the designers.

Additionally, locally sourced and recycled materials were used, energy-efficient water heating systems are installed, and there is an energy-efficient ventilation system and automatic lighting that only comes on when needed. The building's overall alignment and placement of windows are also designed to maximize natural light.

"As our first residential building in Ecuador, we were inspired by Quito's particular geographical setting – the surrounding valleys and the Andes mountains and volcanoes, the busy city streets, and ample green space," says Carlos Zapata. "It's always exciting to make your mark on a skyline, and we wanted to represent Quito properly and embrace its bountiful natural surroundings and dynamic community."

Source: Carlos Zapata Studio

View gallery - 7 images
2 comments
Worzel
From my experience, 'townies' dont like trees. They need maintenance, (water) and they have to sweep up the fallen leaves. They'd rather chop the tree down than bother. I think architects should also be required to study basic psychology, before they jump on the latest ''flavour of the month'' fantasies.
buzzclick
Sounds good on paper, but all these "energy efficient" and "sustainable" attributes are often soft-sells to get the project going. With floor to ceiling glazing of the apartments and the sun beaming down on them (we are near the Equator here), my guess is that air conditioning will be the most energy consuming aspect overall which defeats the purpose. It certainly looks cool tho.

People being people, one potential variable in the mid and roof sections is residents not getting along with others and hogging the communal spaces to the consternation of some, causing friction. It's been known to happen, perhaps especially with the kind of people who can afford such high-priced accommodation.