French architect Jean Nouvel has designed a sprawling, stone-clad residential development for the outskirts of Quito that echoes its mountainous surroundings.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel has created Aquarela for Cumbayá, a rural area east of the Ecuadorian capital, in collaboration with local architectural developer Uribe & Schwarzkopf.
The 136,580-square-metre project will comprise nine residential blocks wrapped by curved balconies covered in stone. Greenery will be planted in rocky gardens inside these – and flow over the tops – to give each resident a connection to the outdoors.
Behind the rocky exterior, the walls of the homes will comprise large expanses of glass and tall slatted wooden shutters that will fold open to reveal the mountainous backdrop.
Each residential block will also have access to its own rooftop pool and a number of elevators so each resident only shares their lift access with one other tenant. Renderings of the scheme released by Uribe & Schwarzkopf show that greenery will continue inside, with plant-covered walls lining the lobby.
A typical two-bedroom apartment inside will have an open-plan living area with glazed doors that lead onto a private terrace surrounded by rockery. Each bedroom will also have an en-suite bathroom.
The first portion of Aquarela is already under construction, and slated for completion in 2020. This block will include the clubhouse with a range of amenities, such as a bowling lane, an ice rink, a yoga studio, music room, mini-golf and a cinema.
Other facilities include access to football, squash and tennis courts; areas designed for young children and teens; workspaces, a hairdressers, event spaces, a gym, spa and a swimming pool
French architect Nouvel recently completed the National Museum of Qatar in Doha and the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates capital. He hit the news last month when it was revealed he was counter-suing the Philharmonie de Paris over a “totally disproportionate” late-fee.
Nouvel, the 2008 laureate of the annual Pritzker Prize, joins a host of well-known international architects that Uribe & Schwarzkopf has enlisted for major projects in Quito.
Arquitectónica and YOO studios, which is run by Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox, worked together to complete YOO Quito residences in the city’s González Suárez area. The project features a metallic cloud-like structure on top, which has become a significant marker on the skyline.
Dutch designer Marcel Wanders collaborated with YOO on the Oh Quito, a two-tower residential development, which is nearing completion.
Bjarke Ingel’s firm BIG is also working on two Uribe & Schwarzkopf projects in Quito: a mixed-used tower called EPIQ, which is covered in pink, herringbone-patterned cladding, and the curved IQON tower, which is set to become the tallest building in the city.
BIG announced the Ecuador projects shortly after Moshe Safdie unveiled his project Qorner tower for the city.