This project is a collaboration with Uribe & Schwarzkopf.
Located in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, the ‘GAIA building’ has been constructed as a new landmark for the city. Comprised of a total of 15,000 sqm of mixed-use space and topped with a large roof garden, this constructed green space is visually connected with the distant Andes mountains. Altogether, the fifteen story tower merges commercial opportunities on the ground floor, offices on the next four levels and residential units on rest.
The GAIA building is sited at an important intersection within the city where urban elements converge and this heavily influenced the final design. This includes a new metro stop, a government building, a commercial shopping center and is adjacent to the city park. The design and the construction process of the building utilize a repeatable pattern system to reduce the overall amount of molds used in creating the distinctive white façade. A material process known as GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) is sprayed directly onto the surface.
The advantages of the sinuous façade material is the efficient and ease of installation; the panels measure at up to four meters and despite the size, they can be reused. A system of adjustable metallic connections allows the complex forms to align easily. Being the first new construction in this neighborhood, the building attempts to combine the many existing and new diverse elements through movement to produce a play of light and shadow of the surroundings. Deep balconies are carved around the perimeter of the scheme in hopes to reduce solar gain in the interior spaces and simultaneously allowing larger portions of glass to be used without sacrificing passive climate controlled spaces.