bjarke ingels group (BIG) has revealed plans for a residential tower to be built in ecuador. the project, which is BIG’s first in south america, is titled ‘IQON’ and is currently under construction in the city of quito. situated between the urban center and la carolina park, the concrete structure will climb to a total of 33-stories, offering sweeping views that take in the nearby volcanoes.

BIG iqon quito
all images courtesy of BIG | bjarke ingels group



BIG’s design for the tower, which will become the city’s tallest building, comprises stacked concrete boxes. each of these modules has been rotated to provide views and space for outdoor terraces. each floor features apartments that have terraces on both the north and south façades, a gesture which not only allows for generous views, but also ensures cross ventilation and a general sense of openness.

BIG iqon quito
IQON will become the city’s tallest building



the building has been conceived as an ‘urban tree farm’, with each terrace featuring a different species. ‘we are letting la carolina park climb up and into the building by planting native trees and plants on the terraces: the closer to the park, the taller the trees,’ explains the design team. ‘a hollow wall underneath each balcony has enough space to hold the roots of each tree. the planters become a concrete sculpture inside the apartments, which is the root zone of the tree for the apartment above.’

BIG iqon quito
the stacked concrete boxes have been rotated to provide views and space



once the trees outgrow their planters (after about five years), they can be replanted in the city’s parks. ‘in this way the building becomes part of a green cycle — from park to building back to park,’ BIG continues. ‘the building aims compress the unique experience of quito into a single building to create a vertical community: la carolina park climbing all the way up to the penthouse.’

BIG iqon quito
the building has been conceived as an ‘urban tree farm’



at roof level, terraces with an integrated lap pool offer residents another place to relax overlooking the city. meanwhile, at the base of the tower, a cascading series of stepping terraces creates an open public plaza activated by retail spaces that will allow people to rest in the shade or access the building lobbies.

BIG iqon quito
residences offer sweeping views across the city

BIG iqon quito
at roof level, terraces with an integrated lap pool offer residents another place to relax

BIG iqon quito
the tower’s reception and lobby

BIG iqon quito
at ground level, an open public plaza is activated by retail spaces

BIG iqon quito
the entire façade becomes a vertical display of quito’s biodiversity

BIG iqon quito
the project is under construction in the ecuadorian capital



project info:


name: IQON
program: housing
status: under construction
size: 35,000 sqm / 376,737 sqf
type: commission
client: uribe & schwarzkopf
collaborators: uribe & schwarzkopf, rene lagos, geo estudios, fernando romo, reg hough, cpp wind tunnel
location: avenida de los shyris, quito, ecuador


project team
partners-in-charge: bjarke ingels, thomas christoffersen
project leader: maria sole bravo
project designer: lorenz krisai
project architect: stephanie choi
team: andrea di pompeo, benjamin novacinski, chengjie li, claire djang, deborah campbell, douglass alligood, francesca portesine, jan leenknegt, jason wu, josiah poland, juan david ramirez, lucia sanchez ramirez, ma ning, magdalena narkiewicz, margaret tyrpa, megan ng, peter sepassi, rune hansen, rune wriedt, sebastian grogaard, sijia zhou, stephanie mauer, stephen kwok, terrence chew, tracy sodder