High-rises are great for views… unless you’re in the neighboring building whose sunset is now blocked by a concrete monstrosity. Designed to overcome that state of affairs, this uniquely shaped skyscraper from MAD Architects hopes to give neighboring buildings ample access to natural light and views of the sky. Located in Quito, Ecuador, the skyscraper (named Qondesa) will be the city’s tallest building, with a height of 130m (425ft.). Its rather eye-catching shape is designed to be an improvement over the rigid, vertical skyscrapers seen in most cities. The curved profile on the sides ensures that the building doesn’t always block the light for residents living behind it. As the sun rises or sets, it peeks through the building’s curves at certain intervals in the day, allowing neighbors to get ample access to natural light throughout the day and even the year.
Designer: MAD Architects
At first glance, the most striking element of the Qondesa Skyscraper is its fluid, curving façade resembling a waveform frozen mid-motion. The softened edges of the building contrast sharply with the angular urban environment around it. The design of the building emulates vines that twist together as they climb upwards. Each balcony on the Qondesa is also supplemented with lush greenery, giving the skyscraper a pleasing contrast to the concrete appearance seen in most skyscrapers. Aside from its undulating silhouette, the use of locally sourced materials contributes to the sense of unity with nature. Stone cladding blends seamlessly into native hardwoods, evoking the rugged terrain surrounding Quito. On one hand, these elements add texture and depth to the otherwise sleek lines of the tower; on the other, they serve as a reminder of Ecuador’s lush ecosystems.
The architectural design of the Qondesa serves another rather altruistic purpose too. Designed to be a pretty imposing building in Quito’s neighborhood, the skyscraper also ensures that buildings around it aren’t affected too much by its presence. The curved format ensures neighboring buildings get ample access to natural light and good views during the day. Sure, the skyscraper does end up obstructing some views, but its curved shape minimizes its overall impact, so that everyone benefits from the city’s brilliant hilly, open skyline.
“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,” explained the team at MAD Architects. “In addition, the exterior shape of Qondesa is designed so as not to block natural light and views from the surrounding buildings.”
The building comprises urban apartments that are designed to provide a comfortable and intimate living experience. It is conveniently located near the Iñaquito Metro station, providing easy access to Quito’s main destinations. Additionally, it is situated across from La Carolina Park, a 67-hectare green space that offers a perfect blend of leisure, business, and living. The architects have created multiple amenities and communal areas too, promoting a sense of community among the residents.
MAD’s upcoming project, Qondesa, is set to be their first venture in South America. The project will be situated in Quito, Ecuador’s second-largest city with a population upward of 2.8 million. Notable towers from other famed architects like BIG’s Iqon and Carlos Zapata Studio’s Unique are also making their mark on the city’s skyline.