Zaha Hadid Architects Present to You: The Astounding Roatán Próspera Residences

Zaha Hadid Architects are working hand-in-hand with the London based structural and civil engineering consultants AKT II and Hilson Moran to present to you one of their latest works: the Roatán Próspera Residences.

Bringing the vision into reality

ZHA, in partnership with AKT II and Hilson Moran, have developed a virtual architectural platform to allow future residents to create their own homes for Roatán Próspera. Zaha Hadid Architects’ Roatán Próspera Residences is a customizable residential community intended for the Caribbean island Roatán, envisioned in accordance with the culture, ecological and social climates, and the topography of the island.

The architectural firm intends on starting work on the Roatán Próspera housing complex later this year. The complex consists of large, modular timber-framed residences, surrounded by spacious terraces, with curved palapa roofs overhead. The design of the units is a tribute to the traditional building techniques of the surrounding areas, making the design the perfect fusion between the traditional and the progressive.

Zaha Hadid Architects bore in mind the fact that Roatán is the largest island of the Bay Islands of Honduras and therefore requires particular care in visualizing the design. They merged the traditional Roatánian use of timber in construction along with a progressive approach to spatial and climatic appropriateness to design a structure that can withstand the harsh Caribbean climate. This symbiosis between the design and its surroundings was achieved through the use of digital design and advanced engineering and construction techniques.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

ZHA’s approach to sustainability and designing for disassembly

The design approach of the project stems from a desire to benefit the economy of the region by using local materials, craftsmanship, and utilizing local manufacturing facilities. These choices come from the comprehensive understanding that AKT II worked hard to reach. Hilson Moran collaborated with ZHA to develop passive design strategies to minimalize energy consumption and outfitted the shading canopies with solar panels. They have also included a dehumidifying system that collects water from the atmosphere and recycles it for the use of the residents.

Since the wildlife on Roatán is quite rich, the firm decided that the modules will be manufactured away from the site and then transported to the site using local transportation networks. This sustainable approach to construction benefits the environment on two levels: the wildlife on and around the site will be left unharmed, and the carbon footprint of the construction will be drastically reduced.

ZHA established the modular design of the Roatán Próspera Residences on the use of sustainable and recyclable building materials such as locally-treated timber from certified forests on the Honduran mainland. In order to minimize construction waste and the embedded carbon footprint of the structure, they intend to use digital information technologies that will make use of every bit of material, leaving nothing behind. According to the firm, principles of design for disassembly are employed in the design since most of the materials allow for easy assembly and disassembly, which will allow the residents to recycle or reassemble any part of their unit.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Customize your own dream house

The ZHA Computational and Design Group developed a digital parametric software that can be accessed by the resident of the complex to customize the size, layout, and furnishing of their modules. The firm provides the residents with different modules and furniture sets that they can choose from. They can either opt for these pre-designed pieces or contact local suppliers and manufacturers to customize their own furnishings. The software allows users to choose as many as 5 subunits that constitute the module, with each subunit measuring 35 m².

Zaha Hadid Architects are granting us a glimpse into the future of architectural development. They are showing us that the architecture of tomorrow is that which can be customized to suit all of the customer’s needs and, at the same time, preserve our natural resources as much as possible. Roatán is already a great tourist destination and with ZHA’s Roatán Próspera Residences, the region is expected to prosper even more with these customizable, eco-friendly units that put both their residents and the surrounding environment at ease.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Project info

Location: Roatán Island, Honduras
Typology: Residential
Name: “Roatán Próspera Residences”
Design Team
Design & Technology Platform: Zaha Hadid Architects: Patrik Schumacher (Principal), Shajay Bhooshan, Henry Louth, Vishu Bhooshan, Cesar Fragachan, Jianfei Chu, Federico Borello, Georgios Pasisis with support from Tommaso Casucci, Leo Bieling and Ryan Hughes
Structural Engineering: AKT II: Edoardo Tibuzzi, Gavin Sayers, Thomas Lejeune, Megan Greig
Environmental Engineering: Hilson Moran: Emlu Schembri, Amedeo Scofone
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