Over the next few months, visitors strolling leisurely along the popular Copacabana waterfront in Rio de Janeiro will witness an irresistibly uncanny structure emerge from the white sands to boldly stake its claim in the city’s skyline.
Designed by celebrated Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, the new residential complex will give 30 lucky homeowners the most luxurious and classy high-end living, matching a seven-star living experience in every way. The design was made public on the website of Zaha Hadid Architects in December of last year and is already drawing a lot of attention for its simple yet spectacular exterior. Resembling a towering cruise liner, the iconic structure radiates the spirit of Zaha Hadid’s architectural philosophy. Those who marvel at Hadid’s breathtaking use of curves in the design of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge and the Heydar Aiyev Cultural Centre in Baku (Rowan Moore in the Guardian describes her as the ‘queen of the curve’) will be swept away by the dramatic curves in the façade of the structure.
In fact, it seems Hadid has developed a penchant for incorporating local geography into her designs; something she may have acquired during her recent work in the Arabian Gulf and exposure to nautically-themed architecture dotting coastlines in the region. Design Boom reports that Hadid was inspired by dhow sails when designing the Al-Wakrah football stadium in Qatar.
As with most of Hadid’s work, this latest design manages to leave a dramatic visual impact while employing a minimalist approach to design. At the same time, Hadid demonstrates unpretentious sensitivity to the discerning sensibilities of those who will eventually live in the complex by blending her dramatic curves with classic vertical symmetry. The design shows a determined move away from the cubist philosophy which inspired much of Hadid’s earlier work. The result is a futuristic design that may be the first swallow of a new year in luxury coastal architecture. The new design promises to impart an infectious vibrancy to the bustling neighborhood when the complex is completed.