In the upscale Itaim Bibi district of São Paulo, Daniel Libeskind’s Vitra condo tower cuts a striking figure. Its faceted glass facade is inlaid with balconies on one side, to enjoy views of the nearby Ibirapuera and Do Povo parks. And a wedge-like volume is carved out of building’s base, making this visually imposing building seem like it’s lifting off the ground in defiance of gravity. Each of the 14 residences, plus one penthouse, has its own floor – and its own unique floorplan. In case you were still wondering: yes, this is definitely a luxury residential project.
It’s also a sustainable one. The developers, JHSF, have integrated environmental solutions throughout the 77-metre-tall, 14,000-square-metre project. These include a system for rainwater collection and reuse, solar water heating and sustainable materials. The glass facade is itself energy-efficient and low-emissivity.
For Libeskind, based in New York, this represents his first project in South America. And it’s one of many Libeskind-designed high-rises getting ready for their close ups. These include the round-edged L Tower in Toronto, an almost-finished condo building that is especially interesting in that it deviates from the architect’s pointier volumes. (And also because Libeskind once told Azure, “Really, I don’t understand how anyone can do a sleek curve. For me, it is impossible.”). And then there’s the Zlota 44 tower in Warsaw, which resembles the Vitra residence in form but, at 52 stories and 192 metres, rises much higher. Just like it and the L-Tower, it’s poised to forever change the skyline of its city.