It’s only right that this towering structure is named the IQON building. It is now the tallest building in all of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. In the last decade, this city has dramatically changed. The breathtaking IQON building is a stunning example of how Quito is embracing modern design and ideas.

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Aerial view of Quito and IQON

A decade ago, Quito was a city packed with low-rise buildings. But when the airport was relocated, the city changed. Now, Quito is becoming a city of skyscrapers as well as a modern and glittering hub for city living.

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Parallel view of IQON building

The IQON building was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). IQON contains 215 individual residences, along with commercial units, office spaces and enough amenities to keep everyone happy.

Penthouse rendering of IQON

This is more than a building. It is a vertical community that sits next to the lovely La Carolina Park. Visually, the park is part of the facade of the building. When you see IQON, you will likely notice the curved corner, which is wrapped with terraces that go around the perimeter. The terraces provide views of the park, the city and the nearby volcano.

Parks adjacent to the residential building

The building is made with exposed concrete, which is both the structure and the facade of the building. Individual blocks of concrete are stacked 32 floors high and rotated. This creates those stunning views and terraces that create green spaces all over the building. The design is meant to celebrate Ecuador, the natural climate and the natural plants. In fact, Ecuador has more native plant species per square meter than any other country in the world. That’s something to not just be proud of, but something to preserve.

Large windows for natural light in IQON

“We’ve tried to take all the iconic qualities of Quito — such as the enjoyment of living in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, in a city on the equator where the seasons are perfect for both human and plant life — and bring that experience into the vertical dimension,” said the founder and creative director of BIG.

Shrubbery along IQON balcony

There are public spaces, retail units and artworks on the ground floor plaza, which is an east-west pathway that connects the park to the neighborhood. Planters are integrated into the architecture of the building itself, becoming sculptures inside the building. The building functions as an urban tree farm. When trees and plants on the terraces get too big, they can be replanted in parks all over the city.

There’s a lap pool and more terraces at the top of the building, a place for residents to enjoy. There’s also a gym, a squash court, a spa, entertainment rooms, a bowling alley and a business center. This building celebrates humans, plants and the city it’s in. By doing so, IQON has a design that’s healthier for the world around it, too.

+ Bjarke Ingels Group

Images via BICUBIC and Pablo Casals Aguirre