Edificio Acqua
Rafael Viñoly Architects announce the completion of Edificio Acqua, a six-storey luxury residential complex in the beachfront resort Punta del Este, Uruguay and the first building completed by Rafael Viñoly in his home country.

On a prime site facing the South Atlantic Ocean and located adjacent to the main ocean front roadway, the L-shaped, 34-unit building responds to an irregularly shaped site with a context-sensitive development, introducing an unprecedented level of architectural detailing and construction quality to the high-end of the Uruguayan housing market.

Featuring a terraced elevation that steps back floor by floor, Edificio Acqua resembles a large staircase leading residents directly to the water's edge. These setbacks not only minimise the structure's overall mass when viewed from the beach, but also enable the creation of six "penthouse" apartments: spacious, single-floor units that enjoy their own private terraces and swimming pools. With the combination of the infinity pools, each 75' by 50', that seem to extend to the Atlantic Ocean, abundant gazing on the three ocean-view sides, and building setbacks that obscure views of the other units, the penthouses appear as isolated residences.

The building contains a variety of other living configurations, including five double-height lofts and 22 single-floor apartment units, with a total living area ranging from 3,000 to 16,000 square feet for the penthouse apartments. 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, with many of these rooms also enjoying spectacular ocean views and unmatched sunrises and sunsets. A series of terraces, alternately cantilevered from the facade or set back into the building volume, animate the exterior and provide outdoor space for each of the apartments.

With six separate lobbies and elevator cores, each connecting the residential units with private parking located at grade directly beneath the units, privacy and convenience have been optimized. The lobbies are connected with an arcade at ground level which provides access to the spa, pool, and gymnasium on level 2, where residents can relax and enjoy the privacy of the property's gardens.

Exterior finishes include a Jura stone facade encrusted with aquatic fossils, an anodized aluminum curtainwall facade and wood slats on the 11' deep balconies. The interiors are spacious and modern with floor-to ceiling glass walls which allow both panoramic views form the interior and an abundance of natural daylight from the exterior. Interior finishes include white marble countertops, dark-wood cabinetry, and imported stainless steel appliances and fixtures. All plumbing and piping services are located inside each residential unit within a layer of light weight concrete fill between the structural slab and the ceramic tile floor; this allows maximum flexibility in adding plumbing services anywhere within the residential unit without requiring construction to affect the residential unit underneath.

Rafael Viñoly said: "Edificio Acqua has special meaning to me - it's the first project I have completed in my native country of Uruguay. Punta del Este is a place of enormous natural beauty and I wanted my design to celebrate the extraordinary views that make this place so distinctive. The view from Acqua is different from everywhere else. It's like being in a place that categorizes everything else in a very different way."

Edificio Acqua is a recipient of several architectural awards, including those by SIMA (Feria de Salon Internacional de Madrid), FIABCI (Federacion Internacional de Profesiones Inmobiliarias), and CNBC in conjunction with The New York Times.


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