Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid's 'exoskeleton' tower an instant Miami landmark - GulfToday

Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid's luxury tower block an instant Miami landmark

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A view of one of the living rooms at a full-floor apartment in the One Thousand Museum building. AFP

In the heart of Miami, the eye-catching new luxury condo building by late star architect Zaha Hadid dominates the skyline.

The unique curved "exoskeleton" design of the One Thousand Museum building has created a buzz in social and art circles. The futuristic structure is the only residential space in downtown Miami with a helipad.

The high-rise also honours the legacy of the Iraqi-British architect, who died in Miami in 2016 at age 65, when the 62-storeyed tower was built up to about the eighth floor.

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Chris Lepine poses for a photo at One Thousand Museum building in Miami. AFP

"We felt a big obligation to make sure we got this particular project right because Miami was her second home," said Chris Lepine, who took over as director of the $300 million project after her death.

"She spent a lot of time here, had a lot of friends."

Hadid sometimes dubbed "Queen of the Curve" for her love of the form was the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, and also won two Stirling Prizes, Britain's highest honour for architecture.

Forbes once named her one of the most influential women in the world.

Among her acclaimed projects are Beijing Daxing International Airport and the London Aquatic Centre for the 2012 Olympics.

About six months ago residents began moving into the Miami building which has been in the works since 2012.

"We wanted to make sure that we left this landmark of her achievements," Lepine said.

Architect Zaha Hadid’s face painted on a portrait. AFP

A view of Miami from one of the full-floor apartments. AFP

The main lobby of One Thousand Museum building in Miami . AFP

A view of the stairs leading to the indoor pool in the rooftop. AFP

A view of the master bedroom at one of the full-floor apartments. AFP

A general view from Watson Island of One Thousand Museum building in Miami. AFP

One Thousand Museum Hadid's first tower in the Western Hemisphere is now the crown jewel of her design firm, which is based in London.

The penthouses offer stunning views of the park surrounding the Perez Art Museum Miami, the bay and then out to the Miami Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.


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Form and function

The building's "exoskeleton," as architects call it, flows from the base to the top of its exterior, and sinks at times between the tower's windows.

"The exoskeleton for us was a real look at how architecture could be synthesised with structure into an overall very elegant expression," Lepine said.

The flexibility and finishing of the novel material used in this "permanent formwork" technique allowed for a fluid look.

One Thousand Museum was developed by Louis Birdman, Gilberto Bomeny, Gregg Covin and Kevin Venger.

Prices start in the $5 million range, and shoot up to $24 million for units that take up an entire higher floor.

Residents hail from about 20 different countries. A handful of apartments are still on the market.

"It has all the basic elements of a residential tower, but I think configured in a way that's very, very clever, very creative and in a way that sort of stands out," Lepine said.

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