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ecuador's six towers 'the hills' will be MVRDV's first project in south america

MVRDV takes to ecuador


MVRDV has revealed the design for The Hills, its first project in South America, to will be realized along the riverfront of Ecuador. The project is designed for Quito-based developer Uribe Schwarzkopf, the project is located on Guayaquil’s Guayas river. Overall, the complex will stand as a cluster of six residential towers atop a mixed-use plinth, suggesting a lush, naturally carved ‘valley.’


The team at MVRDV notes that ‘the design is inspired by the many juxtapositions found in Guayaquil itself — from the broad expanse of the river contrasted with nearby mountains, to the sight of modern high-rises on the shoreline set against the colourful hillside settlements of the Santa Ana hill.’

mvrdv ecuador
images by Vero Digital | @verodig © MVRDV



transforming the skyline of guayaquil


MVRDV (see more here) designs The Hills to introduce a dramatic new addition to Ecuador’s Guayaquil skyline. The project will be sited in the upscale neighborhood of Puerto Santa Ana, extending the boulevard that is gradually being consolidated along much of the city’s waterfront. The six residential towers of The Hills range from 92 to 143 meters (300 to 470 feet), rising taller as they step away from the riverfront, thus echoing the way the city ascends or ‘steps up’ from the waterfront to the hills behind.

mvrdv ecuador



a green oasis between six towers


At the project’s base, the MVRDV-designed towers merge together to form a terraced green valley programmed with an oasis of pools, sports fields, and a large urban amphitheatre facing the riverfront, all surrounded by lush vegetation native to Ecuador. 


Between the four towers located closest to the river and the two towers at the rear of the development is a deeper ‘canyon’, which will host extra spaces for retail and creating a route for pedestrians to cross the site at ground level, while also allowing for the project to be built across two phases.

mvrdv ecuador



MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs comments: ‘The complex is almost a city in itself, with towers of different heights, so it’s a mini skyline – but it’s also part of a larger skyline along the promenade.


‘It was important for us that the project was not just an island in the city, but that it offered access for others as well, that it would give something back in the form of a public plinth. So it’s a very exciting space for people to go to, somewhere that we hope people can meet with friends. At the same time, the balconies that characterise the towers offer space for greenery as well as protection from the sun and rain.

mvrdv ecuador



The team at MVRDV describes the green facade of The Hill: ‘At the project’s outer edges, the design of the façades reflects the visual language of its neighbouring high-rises – white balconies, arranged in straight orthogonal lines. The façades facing the void between the towers, however, provide a very different character to the development.


‘Here, the straight lines give way to balconies with flowing curves that create irregular setbacks and overhangs; earth tones on the lower levels gradually give way to lighter colours closer to the sky; and on all levels, plentiful greenery lines the balconies, extending the atmosphere of the central valley up to the top of the ‘hills’ that surround it.’




‘Many of these features were developed to provide a sustainable response to the warm climate of Guayaquil. The wide balconies shade the glass facade, while the positioning of the towers and the curved shapes help to improve ventilation, allowing breezes to flow across the site unimpeded. The abundant greenery helps to cool the surroundings, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the building and making the valley itself a comfortable, welcoming environment for both residents and visitors.’

mvrdv ecuador



‘The Hills will be supplied with renewable energy from photovoltaics, providing a large part of the energy used in the communal areas and residences. In addition, the project will collect and store rainwater for irrigation use in the gardens, while LED lighting and heat pumps reduce the overall carbon footprint of the development.’




project info:


project title: The Hills

architecture: MVRDV | @mvrdv

location: Guayaquil, Ecuador

client: Uribe Schwarzkopf

visualizations: Vero Digital | @verodig © MVRDV

video filming & editing: Kirill Emelianov


founding partner in charge: Jacob van Rijs
partner: Frans de Witte
design team: Fedor Bron, Fouad Addou, Anouk Wilmering, Teodora Cirjan, Laurens Veth, Aneta Rymsza, Samantha Gazzolo, Diego Lopez, Alberto Canton, Sandra Baggerman, Pavel Basmanov, Natasha Trice
environmental advisor: Peter Mensinga

co-architect & interior architect: Uribe Schwarzkopf

structural engineering & MEP: Grupo Vera

visualisation team: Antonio Luca Coco, Pavlos Ventouris, Luca Piattelli, Jaroslaw Jeda, Marco Fabri, Stefania Trozzi, Ciprian Buzdugan, Luis Perona
copyright: © MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries

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