Sustainable architecture – In the lush Cumbayá valley, on the side of a volcano, east of the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, AQUARELA by French studio Ateliers Jean Nouvel with Alberto MEDEM and Humboldt Arquitectos will comprise nine residential stone-clad blocks. The 136,580-square-metre, biophilic project blends with the nature of the surrounding mountainous landscape with a responsible vision.
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The architecture mimics the context with curved balconies wrapping the intervention, overfilled with greenery. Rocky gardens connect the residents to the natural outdoors and strengthen the integration of the building.
“The breadth of its squares, its gardens and its large communal spaces make this project one of the most eco-efficient in the city of Quito,” Says Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel to Archipanic. “The spacious terraces, gardens and swimming pools of the units allow the use and use of these outdoor spaces with nature as the main actor. Terraces that, together with the green roofs on the roof plants, return the space occupied by the building to nature, further improving thermal insulation and generating recreational spaces.”
Sustainability is king. Collected rainwater and wastewater from the apartment plumbing system will be filtered and recirculated to feed plants. Solar panels mounted on the buildings will generate the power to heat the complex’s water.
The architecture team also claims that for every tree cut down in the construction process another 10 will be planted. The sustainable project comes with a social imprint too. “Residents will be able to access a lower interest rate on green mortgages due to Aquarela’s sustainable credentials.”
Interiors are characterized by large glass windows, tall slatted wooden shutters, and open spaces. In the lobby area, greenery also takes up a large portion of the place, generating continuity with the natural exterior envelope.
The project is due to be completed in three phases between 2021 and 2023. With the first phase set for completion, the project will soon reveal a clubhouse with a bowling lane, an ice rink, a yoga studio, a music room, a mini-golf, and a cinema.
All AQUARELA images by Ateliers Jean Nouvel with Alberto MEDEM and Humboldt Arquitectos S.L.