Zaha Hadid Architects to build sustainable residences in Honduras

It may be difficult to picture one of Zaha Hadid’s avant-garde, abstract buildings atop a pristine, tropical Caribbean island, but Zaha Hadid Architects are set to do the unimaginable. The late architect’s namesake firm recently unveiled a joint project with AKT II and Hilson Moran to construct extraordinary residences on Roatán, a bay island just off the northern coast of Honduras. 

Called Roatán Prospera Residence, learn more about these environmentally sustainable properties and how you can get your hands on one:

Integration with local communities

While most firms would outsource material and labour, Zaha Hadid Architects enlisted local resources to reduce carbon emission and to support native communities when designing these beautiful villas. They plan on using timber from the main island of Honduras, which is more readily available and suitable to the climate. 

Roatán Prospera Residence is a place for homeowners to live, communicate, and integrate completely with local communities. They will also be building sister residencies beside Prospera, so the entire island will prosper together and truly support each other. 

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#ZahaHadidArchitects with @AKT_II and @Hilson_Moran have developed a digital architectural platform to create homes for #RoatánPróspera. The residential designs are a specific ecological and social response to the climate, terrain and culture of #Roatan Island. . Learning from the wisdom of the past, the designs integrate local vernacular traditions of timber construction, climatic appropriateness and spatial experience with new digital design, engineering & construction techniques that start from a comprehensive understanding of local materials, supply chains, skills and craftsmanship. . The modular system is founded on the use of sustainable timber, sourced nearby from certified Honduran forests and treated locally, to form the main structural elements. Digital technologies optimize the use of all parts of the sustainably-forested logs to minimize waste & pollution, while reducing the project’s embedded energy & carbon footprint. Dimensions of the structural timber units are defined by existing transportation networks to ensure carbon emissions are minimised. . The use of lightweight timber results in a reduced and adaptive foundation system that can be fabricated off-site, minimizing intervention to the site. Smart timber connections ensure quick assembly & disassembly, enabling homes to be reconfigured or any element to be recycled. . Divided into a ‘kit of parts’, the design also ensures local tradesmen benefit from the knowledge obtained by working with new technologies; building lasting relationships with the community. All suppliers will be given full assistance to align their product lines with the project. . Passive environmental and water cycle strategies minimize energy consumption by reducing temperatures, with little or no requirements for mechanical ventilation. For self-sufficient and net zero carbon operations, shading canopies are optimally shaped to accommodate photovoltaic arrays for renewable power generation & water collection. . The digital configuration platform ensures every residence meets the homeowners requirements while also using as little material and energy as possible in construction & operation.

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“The island of Roatán is already a renowned tourist destination. Roatan Prospera will strengthen and diversify the local economy while creating homes defined by their natural environment,” said CEO of Honduras Prospera LLC Eric A Brimen. 

Technological innovations for environmental sustainability 

The exterior design of the Roatán Prospera Residence is one with nature. The predominantly white and natural wood tones of the residence blend perfectly with the nearby palm trees, and the most notable feature of the buildings, the curved roofs, echo the undulating waves seen through the floor to ceiling windows. 

But Roatán Prospera Residence doesn’t just look impressive from the outside; in fact, the blueprint of the complex holds a deeper message of sustainability. Zaha Hadid Architects have worked with international environmental engineering consultancy Hilson Moran to develop methods that cut back on the energy consumption of the buildings.

The complex will highlight renewable sources of energy including solar panels and water filtration systems.  By collaborating with the computational engineering team at AKT II, Zaha Hadid Architects have developed a digital platform that allows modules to be fabricated off-site, reducing carbon emission and harm to wildlife from frequent transportation. 

Credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

Because of the digital platform, homeowners can design, furnish, and construct their new homes by simply clicking some buttons. It’s almost like playing a video game – you can purchase space based on voxel units, which are three-dimensional volumes that are 35 square meters in the plan area and four meters in height, and reconfigure it whichever way you want. 

Roatán Prospera Residences is confirmed to begin operations later this year. Learn more at prospera.hn/residences

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In this Story: #culture / art & design