by Jerry ElengicalJul 26, 2021
Ateliers Jean Nouvel recently revealed the images for Aquarela complex in Quito, Ecuador, which completed its first phase with three towers (Terra, Aqua and Cielo) in December 2020. The subsequent three phases of completion will include six towers and are set to be finished in the years 2021 to 2023. The French practice, founded by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, has designed this high-rise building for Cumbayá neighbourhood in Quito and is a representative of a new type of development for the city.
The high-rise apartment complex will contain 600 units upon completion and is being designed in collaboration with architecture studios Alberto MEDEM and Humboldt Arquitectos for the design, and Uribe Schwarzkopf for the interiors of the first set of towers. The rural parish of Cumbayá is located in the lush green Tumbaco valley, on the side of a volcano. The design has been tailored to respond to its surroundings and the use of natural materials reflect the topography of the space. The stone exteriors intertwine with the native plants and create a beautiful exterior façade for the complex. The Aquarela is meant to appear as a monolith, complementing the contours of the valley that it is nestled in.
With planted balconies decorating the exteriors, Aquarela will have vertical gardens all along the building with trees and other kinds of flora. To echo a sense of the surrounding steep mountains, the interior courtyard that is designed to feel like a mountain pass, and the amenities of the complex, are accessible through this area. The complex will also host an ice rink, bowling alley, mini-golf course, mini-soccer field, outdoor tennis and squash courts, rooftop pools on each tower, spas and saunas, yoga and spinning rooms, beauty salons, and a pet salon.
Keeping sustainability as one of the driving factors in the design, the Aquarela complex demonstrates a commitment to being ecologically conscious. Solar panels that will be mounted on the buildings will be responsible for heating the water used in the complex. The water for the gardens will come from rainwater harvesting and all the waste water from the apartments’ plumbing systems will be filtered and re-circulated. Also, as the trees would be cut during the construction process, for every felled tree, 10 more will be planted to make up for the loss.
The interiors have been characterised by large glass windows and wooden shutters, following the complex’s design sensibility. Lighting and other fixtures have been sourced from brands such as Flos, Vivia, Marcet, and Faro Barcelona. The furniture has been sourced from brands like Pedrali, Dedon, and Konkretus. Along with these names, a nod to local culture and history can be seen in things like a front desk, which has been made of salvaged wood from a lightning storm and game room furniture constructed by a legendary local billiard champion.
Location: Cumbayá, Quito, Ecuador
Architects: Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Associate architects: Alberto MEDEM – Humboldt Arquitectos S.L
Interiors: Uribe Schwarzkopf
Architect of record: Uribe Schwarzkopf
Size: Habitable area 75,000 m²