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MVRDV’s residential project in Montevideo brings family homes to a dense neighbourhood

The construction permit for MVRDV's 15-storey residential building in Montevideo, Uruguay has been approved. Named Ziel, the project – designed for developer IXOU, in collaboration with executive architect Monoblock – is MVRDV's first in Uruguay.

Located just a block from the ocean on the southern tip of Montevideo, the project occupies a corner lot next to the Villa Biarritz park, which serves as a green heart for the dense Punta Carretas neighbourhood. Thanks to the deep plot and the blind walls of the neighbouring buildings, the design uses a courtyard to ensure that every apartment gets adequate light, and extends the greenery of the park throughout the structure, from the courtyard to the private terraces and shared patios on various levels.

With this abundant outdoor green space, the project is envisaged as a stack of country villas embedded in the dense city. Each apartment has a generous balcony or loggia, and the shifting floorplans mean that the 40 homes include a total of ten unique layouts – mostly three bedrooms, as well as one two-bedroom unit on the first floor and four large, four-bedroom corner apartments on the upper levels.

"In Montevideo, like in many other cities, it's common that once people start a family, they leave – buying a villa in the countryside and reducing the vitality of the city", says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs. "What if we were able to give them with the villa they want, and keep them in the city at the same time, offering a combination of urban and suburban lifestyle? Here, we attempt to give a prototypical solution to combine the two."

"With our design, we wanted to show that you can have the spaciousness and nature of the countryside on the tenth floor in the middle of the city", adds MVRDV partner Frans de Witte. "We believe the city should be for everyone, including families with children."

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