zaha hadid architects has unveiled its nature-immersed residential ‘alai’ development, which will be realized along the mayan riviera in mexico. the region’s growing number of tourists and residents have brought new opportunities and projects to the tropical location. consequently, there is a profound need to protect and curtail architecture’s impact on the environment.

alai by zaha hadid architects
the design seeks to minimize adverse effects on local ecosystems
all images © MIR

 

 

located on a site prepared by a previous owner for an unrealized complex, the design seeks to integrate a new residential community, while minimizing the effect on local ecosystems. zaha hadid architects will also landscape a woodland nature reserve, together with the replanting of coastal wetland to protect and enhance the lagoon’s mangroves. this will establish a network of suspended footpaths that enable residents to access the woodlands, coast, and lagoon without disturbing the ground.

alai by zaha hadid architects
residents will have direct access to the woodlands, coast, and lagoon

 

 

the rich textures and surface complexity found within the region’s local mayan masonry is reflected on alai’s façade. this is evidenced in the differing texture and patterning of each building’s envelope, generated by assembling the balcony units and façade elements in varying sequences. these façade and balcony units simultaneously provide solar shading to the apartments within. 

alai by zaha hadid architects
the residential buildings share an elevated platform with integrated perforations

 

 

the residential buildings share an elevated platform with integrated perforations, allowing natural light to flood the ground below, and enabling tropical vegetation to grow upwards through the platform. the apartments are organized in four different floor typologies — in response to the client’s brief — and integrate generous living areas and bedrooms.

alai by zaha hadid architects
the development offers a wide range of amenities

 

 

a wide range of amenities for sport, leisure and wellness are located on this raised platform nine meters above the ground to ensure local wildlife can cross the entire site on the woodland floor without barriers. being just above the canopy of the surrounding vegetation, residents and guests have views over the treetops to the caribbean coast and lagoon beyond from all shared amenities.

 

 

 

project info:

architects: zaha hadid architects (ZHA)
ZHA design: zaha hadid and patrik schumacher
ZHA project director: juan ignacio aranguren
ZHA project associate: maurizio meossi
ZHA project architect: arya safavi
ZHA design team: annarita papeschi, cristina capanna, zetta kotsioni, shahd abdelmoneim, raquel arauco, agata banaszek, delfina bocca, megan burke, afsoon eshaghi, michela falcone, natasha gill, francesca gulizia, jinmi lee, kate revyakina, neil ridgen, michael rogers, mattia santi, flavia santos, gaganjit singh, nicholette chan, leonid krykhtin, seungho yeo, yifan zhang.
zha concept design associate: paulo flores
zha concept design team: maria tsironi, megan burke, aiste dzikaraite, natasha gill, andrew hass, zetta kotsioni,
igor pantic, sergiu-radu pop, kate revyakina, arya safavi, mattia santi, michal wojtkiewicz, bogdan zaha

 

client: pulso inmobiliario
associate local architect and landscape architects: gva arquitectura integral
landscape design concept: gross max
environmental consultants: q2 consultor
planning consultants: hitech caribe
project management: sudocc
structural consultant: bac – garcía jarque ingenieros
MEP: pgi ingenieros
facade consultant: front inc.
lighting consultant: luz y forma

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