Aquarela, a high-rise apartment complex designed by French practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel for Cumbayá, Ecuador, will not just be surrounded by greenery, but itself will be ensconced in planted balconies.
Phase one, including a trio of terraced towers known as Terra, Aqua and Cielo, was finished in December 2020 along with related communal facilities. The succeeding six towers will be finished in three phases from 2021 to 2023.
The high-rise apartment towers, built around a courtyard brimming with greenery, will feature 573 apartments when the development is completed.
Architecture studios Alberto MEDEM and Humboldt Arquitectos are cooperating with Ateliers Jean Nouvel on the design, and Ecuadorian developer Uribe Schwarzkopf is cultivating the interior design for the inaugural set of towers.
These high-rise blocks will be separated by a lengthy courtyard.
Aquarela is devised to enhance its setting. Cumbayá is situated in a valley at the side of a volcano, east of the capital Quito in the Tumbaco Valley.
New renders display the manner in which the apartment towers, each standing seven to ten stories high, will be set in stone and enshrouded in native plants. The high-rise structures are designed to liken the steep mountains, with the courtyard creating a pass between them.
Vertical gardens planted with trees and plants will line the face of the towers, as well as decorative crevices to contain more greenery.
A large array of residential amenities will feature an ice rink, bowling alley, mini-golf course, sports courts, rooftop pools on every tower, spa and saunas, yoga and spinning rooms, beauty salons, and even a pet salon.
Sustainability is an overriding component of the master plan for Aquarela, where gardens will be watered with rainwater, and wastewater from the apartment plumbing system will filter and recirculate.
Solar panels posted on the buildings will create the power needed to heat the complex water supply.
For each tree cut to make a path for the development another 10 will be planted, to the tune of 850 new trees. Tenants will enjoy a lower interest rate on green mortgages in accordance with Aquarela’s sustainable credentials.
Uribe Schwarzkopf reflects this biophilic theory on the inside of the towers, where a front desk was carved from lightning-struck wood saved after a storm.
Lighting and other fixtures bear brand names like Flos, Vivia, Marcet, and Faro Barcelona, with furniture from Pedrali, Dedon, and Konkretus.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel was started by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, whose other projects include a cave hotel in Saudi Arabia and a university library in Cyprus.
Associated architects include Alberto MEDEM, Humboldt Arquitectos. The project Architect of record was Uribe Schwarzkopf, who designed the Interiors.