Competition-winning design for new government complex in Ecuador
The architectural competition for the Parliament Complex in Quito was won by Ecuadorian architects Arch. Gabriela Aguilera, Arch. Ana Gabriela Salvador and Arch. Juan Carlos Soria, in December 2010. The $11m construction is planned to begin early 2012.
The design incorporates an architectural and urban development on a long-term basis throughout the city. It emphasises the fact that Quito 'Luz de América' (Light of America), is a city where faith, liberty and culture coincide, projecting itself to the future with an impressive urban approach that would return its historic value. 'Luz de America' was the name given to Ecuador's capital Quito, where the first shout of independence against the Spanish occupation took place, on August 10 1809.
For the architects, democracy is understood as a transparent process, where all citizens feel represented and have access to. The square 'Luz de América' creates a new access point to the complex. The main square is a suspended crystal plane that transmutes into a walkable platform. It transmits, absorbs, spreads and reflects light. This plane becomes a cube of light, a container that houses the library. It is therefore the most important space of the project, conceived as a source of knowledge and light. An eternal flame will be placed inside this container and will act as an axis generator that will spread throughout the city as the 'axis of fire'. The axis of fire within the project connects both parks, symbolising and articulating the city as a linear, open and collective museum in permanent use.
The relationship between the Parliament building and the new office building to be renovated (a former law court) keeps a balance between the different scales and formal aspects, allowing an integral lecture of the complex. The renovation of the office building also contributes to the spatial configuration of the complex, managing a clear functional interior space, changing the orientation of the building towards the Parliament building and the green axis.