Edificio Aqua

Edificio Acqua is a six-story luxury residential complex that faces the South Atlantic Ocean in Uruguay’s upscale beachfront resort of Punta del Este. Located adjacent to the main oceanfront roadway, this L-shaped, 34-unit building responds to an irregularly shaped site with dense, context-sensitive development, introducing an unprecedented level of construction quality and architectural refinement to the high end of the Uruguayan housing market. The building features a terraced elevation that steps back fl oor by fl oor, resembling a large staircase leading residents directly to the water’s edge. These setbacks not only minimize the structure’s overall mass when viewed from the beach, but also enable the creation of four “manor” and two “penthouse” apartments: spacious, single-fl oor units that enjoy their own private terraces and swimming pools, with a total living area ranging from 6,750 to 9,050 square feet. With the combination of the infi nity pools that seem to extend to the ocean, the abundant glazing on the three oceanvie sides, and the building setbacks that obscure views of the other units, each manor seems like an isolated residence. The building contains a variety of other living confi gurations as well, including fi ve double-height lofts and 24 single-fl oor apartment units. Living and dining areas typically face the ocean, and bedrooms, bathrooms, and other private spaces are situated along the glass exterior wall toward the rear and sides of the building, though many of these rooms enjoy ocean views as well. Nearly every bedroom features a walk-in closet and private bathroom. A series of terraces, alternately cantilevered out or set back into the building volume, animate the exterior and provide outdoor space for the apartments. Passing through both wings of the building at ground level, a vehicular road provides access to ground-level parking bays, located in the base of the building adjacent to the seven elevator cores. A fi tness center, spa, and outdoor pool are available to all residents. “For me, Edifi cio Acqua has a special meaning,” says Rafael Viñoly, “as it is the fi rst project I have completed in my native country of Uruguay. Its design refl ects the uniqueness and beauty of its fashionable surroundings. Spectacular views create a sense of openness and accessibility, and the innovative use of materials and space produces a timeless architectural message.”