IQON Tower, Quito’s Oddly-Shaped Skyscraper

IQON Tower as seen from the street below

photography by: Omri Westmark

Reading time: minutes

Historically, Quito’s skyline has been dominated by the steeples of its churches, rarely jutting out beyond the height of a few tens of meters or so. Nonetheless, following a sharp shift in municipal regulations, dozens of skyscrapers have since mushroomed throughout the city, including an oddly-shaped tower whose brutalist design evokes a slew of impressions - none of which is apathy.

During the last couple of years, the traditionally low-rise cityscape of the Ecuadorian capital has been injected with an ever-growing number of modern skyscrapers. If you wonder, this recent uptake has less to do with the whims of policy-makers and more to do with the decision to relocate the Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport in 2013, which up until that moment, vastly limited the maximum height of buildings throughout the downtown area.


Since then, the city has been showered with numerous high-rises, getting manhattanized with every passing day. Yet, it is a quirky-looking tower entitled IQON that truly serves as the hallmark of Quito’s insatiable desire for vertical growth. Located next to La Carolina Park, Quito’s analogue of Central Park, the edifice comprises dozens of concrete boxes stacked upon each other in a Tetris-like configuration that elicits bewilderment among its beholders.


Upon its completion in 2023, the 33-story and 220-apartment tower has not only become the tallest building in Quito but also the fourth-tallest nationwide, ascending 133 meters above the verdant park. Interestingly, the roof of each rectangular unit serves as a balcony for the overlying box, where a plethora of endemic plants were installed, purportedly as a seamless extension of the nearby greenery, and a tribute to the country’s sheer biodiversity.


The brainchild of local developers Uribe & Schwarzkopf, this record-breaking edifice was designed by the renowned BIG architecture firm, marking their inaugural undertaking in South America.


Branded as a luxury project, IQON boasts a long list of amenities, including a rooftop pool, a terrace, sports and spa facilities, a music room and even a bowling alley. In spite of its extravagance, though, the skyscraper is far from being an incongruous part of the urban surroundings. In fact, the ground level is home to a handful of trendy shops and eateries, a passage linking the adjacent neighborhood with the park and perhaps most notably, a whimsical, Batman-themed replica of the Thinker.