Quito, a city of coexisting contrasts influenced by its diverse ecosystems, ethnicities and traditions, is the capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO world heritage site, which features the best-preserved and least altered historic center in South America. MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has revealed its first mix-use project “Qondesa” in Quito. Soon to be Quito’s tallest building, MAD aspires to offer a design solution for integrating nature into high-density living with a vision of an ecological future.
Inspired by its natural backdrop, MAD seeks to connect residents to the beauty of nature through the building’s dynamic design. Growing from the earth to the sky, Qondesa’s exterior facade emulates twisting vines weaving around the building to taper at its top, and sprout greenery which form planters throughout the building’s balconies. In addition, the exterior shape of Qondesa is designed so as not to block natural light and views from the surrounding buildings.
The city is located in the Guayllabamba river basin and on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. The stone-coloured appearance of the facade detail is a nod to the stone facades in Quito’s Old Town, where historic buildings used the volcanic stone from the nearby volcano. The playful organic lines of the façade are paired with the protruding, native vegetation to create an elegant aesthetic that will become a landmark to the city’s skyline.
The building is a green design composed of intimately scaled urban apartments, and conveniently connected to Quito’s main destinations via the neighboring Iñaquito Metro station to offer an ideal residential destination for Quito’s city dwellers. It is additionally located across from La Carolina Park, a 67-hectare active green space in the heart of the city that connects all residential, business and leisure elements together. With multiple amenities and communal areas, Qondesa promotes a new possibility for a vertical community where residents play a fundamental role in animating the building.
Qondesa’s scale, design and functionality is complemented by eco-efficient engineering, which incorporates sustainability parameters through responsible consumption of resources and energy, as well as comprehensive waste management beginning in its construction stage. This important urban contribution is part of the new urban plan for Quito, which aims to create a more environmentally friendly city with an overall higher quality of life for its inhabitants.