Philippe Starck is one of the most influential designers of modern times – and he’s applied his signature style and environmental ethos to develop a striking new residential building in Ecuador. The slender YOO Quito tower, created in collaboration with property entrepreneur John Hitchcox, real estate developer Tommy Schwarzkopf and architecture studio Arquitectónica , is expected to feature several sustainable strategies, including low-impact materials, a volumetric design to mitigate solar exposure, and a number of green terraces to reduce the heat island effect.
In 1999, Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox partnered to create YOO, design firm that works with international developers on high-end residential and hospitality projects throughout the world. Their latest endeavor brought together several international firms to design and build four new landmark buildings for Quito.
The YOO Quito building has a slender undulating silhouette with vegetation dominating its base and top floor. For interior spaces, the designers coupled traditional regional design with a modern, minimalist aesthetic. Glass, metal, concrete, foliage and a neutral color palette dominate both the interior and exterior of the building.
The building’s vegetal covers are designed to “obstruct, filter and reflect solar radiation,” according to Yoo Quito literature, “fighting the heat in [sic] sunny days and maintaining heat in the winter.” They also provide protection against noise. Transparent glass ensures ample natural light, while smart technology throughout further reduces the building’s energy requirement. When complete, YOO Quito is expected to be the tallest building in the city.