Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), one of the most venerable names in the world of architecture, has spent decades separating itself from other firms by designing swooping silhouettes and sharp angles into their famous structures.
Yet, with their latest project, a series of recently unveiled luxury apartments in Mexico, the firms bold aesthetic took inspiration from the very people who once laid claim to the land it’s being built on—the Mayans.
The structures will feature surfaces that comprise a small number of geometric shapes, a hallmark of Mayan architectural history. Not only will this serve a cultural and aesthetic purpose for the complex as a whole, but on the granular level the geometric construction means that each unit will enjoy ample shading from the intense tropical sunlight.
Located in the Riviera Maya, a stretch of land that includes Tulum and looks over the Gulf of Mexico, the area is a hotspot for tourism. As such, ZHA was keen to immerse the series of buildings within nature, with the ultimate goal of reducing the architectural and environmental impact on the region. To this point, the residential buildings will include an elevated platform.
This not only means that tropical plants will continue to grow on the ground but also that indigenous wildlife will be able to live in their native environment. Yet, for ZHA, that is not enough: The firm plans to ensure that a wooded nature reserve exists near the grounds, and that a coastal wetland will be replanted in the area.