IQON Residences


IQON Residences




Uribe Schwarzkopf




55,000 / 390,000



Traditionally a sprawling city of dense low-rise buildings, the skyline of Quito was re-imagined following the relocation of the city-center airport over a decade ago. With the skyline able to grow upwards for the first time, Uribe Schwarzkopf worked with BIG to realize a new contemporary identity for the city.


The 130m, 32 story IQON stands as the tallest residential building in the Ecuadorian capital, designed as a vertical community, and an extension of the neighboring La Carolina Park.

“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. IQON is an entire vertical community of individual homes; an extension of La Carolina Park that now climbs all the way up to the rooftop."

Bjarke Ingels — Founder & Creative Director, BIG

The 390,000 sq ft building – which includes 215 residences, commercial units, office spaces, and a variety of amenities – features a notable curved corner, wrapped by terraces that continue around the building’s perimeter with views of the park, city and over the Pichincha volcano.


IQON’s architectural identity is defined by its ‘stripped back’ façade; the raw, exposed concrete simultaneously functions as the building’s structure. Individual ‘pixels’ are stacked 32 floors high and rotated to provide the best possible views while simultaneously creating terraces for the apartments. Celebrating native trees and plants, the building integrates greenery wherever possible to take advantage of Ecuador’s temperate climate and ecology – the country with the most plant species per square meter in the world.

Upon entering the lobby, the material palette transitions from the raw, pared-back exterior to a more refined aesthetic; marble stone pavers complement the custom millwork reception desk, and concrete touchpoints nod to the façade. Deep emerald-green tones are utilized on the ceiling tiles, mailboxes, and through to the elevator lobby – an area located beyond a blackened-steel portal. 

Quito’s biophilia is carried from the public spaces below into the private domain of each home via the sculptural planters that are integrated into the architecture of the building. The planters become a unique concrete sculpture inside the apartments – creating space for the root zone of the tree for the apartment terrace above – while transforming the façade of the building into a celebration of Quito’s verdant biodiversity.  


The building also acts as an urban tree farm: once the vegetation planted on the terraces outgrows its planter, it can be replanted in parks all over the city. In this way, the building becomes part of a green cycle – from park to building, and back to park. 

“Each apartment floor features through-units - apartments that have terraces on both the north and south facades - which not only allows for views across the entire city, but also offers the opportunity for cross ventilation and a sense of openness.”

Thomas Christoffersen — Partner, BIG

An integrated lap pool and terraces at the top of the building offer residents a place to relax while overlooking the city. Additional building amenities include a gym and squash court; a spa; a bowling alley; entertainment rooms; and a business center. IQON is the first mixed-use building in Quito to have a preliminary EDGE certification, granted by GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.); and IFC (International Finance Corporation). 

Bjarke Ingels Thomas Christoffersen Beat Schenk Amir Mikhaeil Jason Wu Jan Leenknegt Lorenz Krisai Lucia Sanchez Ramirez Margaret Tyrpa Peter Sepassi Stephanie Mauer Terrence Chew Tracy Sodder Bell Cai Ziad Shehab Stephen Kwok Deb Campbell Francesca Portesine Andrea Di Pompeo Angel Barreno Gutiérrez Benjamin Novacinski Chengjie Jacob Li Claire Djang Clara Sanfeliu Douglass Alligood Juan David Ramirez Maria Sole Bravo Magdalena Narkiewicz Rune Wriedt Sijia Zhou Stephanie Choi Benjamin Caldwell Josiah Poland Ma Ning Megan Ng Sebastian Grogaard


Rene Lagos Engineers and Fernando Romo
CPP Wind Tunnel
Geo Estudios