L+A Arquitectos recently completed a new 14-storey, 15,000 m2 mixed use building in Quito Ecuador. The building, Gaia, is located at a busy intersection within the city and is the first of many new urban projects in this area.
The building attempts to blend the existing and new diverse elements through its formal movements. This blending technique is achieved by a design concept that removes strategic corners of the building. The building also features a large roof garden that offers a visual connection with the surrounding Andes mountains while creating a usable green space for the building's residents.
The façade of the building uses a process known as GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete). Molds were made in close collaboration with architects and the fabricators workshop to provide accurate and a well coordinated process. The concrete material in then sprayed onto the molds to create the final product.
The design of the building utilizes a repeatable patterning system to reduce the overall amount of molds used in creating the dynamic building façade made from GFRC. Advantages of this material are efficiency of installation as panels are fabricated up to 4 meters by 2 meters tall. Molds can also be reused, reducing the waste and fabrication time.
Photography: Sebastián Crespo