What’s next for Zaha Hadid Architects? After the sudden and tragic death of founder Zaha Hadid in March, it has been revealed that the award-winning architect has left behind a treasure trove of designs yet to grace the skylines of the world’s greatest cities. One of the more interesting designs is a quirky mixed-use tower in Qatar recently unveiled for the first time. The soon-to-be-built tower will be located in Lusail, a coastal city roughly 13 miles north of Doha, the country’s capital and most populous city.
The beguiling tower, which will stand at 38 stories and will be roughly 753,00 square feet, will house 120 luxury apartments and a 200-room hotel. The mixed-use structure is being hailed as one of the future highlights of the city’s newly developing Marina District.
By far the most interesting thing about the tower is its unconventional design. Its peculiar shape harbors a particular significance to the region. The skyscraper was designed to resemble the form of a desert hyancinth, a flowering plant that’s native to Qatar and the rest of the Persian Gulf.
Before her untimely death, Hadid spoke briefly about the building and its naturalist design. “We often look at nature’s systems when we work to create environments; at her unrivaled logic and coherence,” the architect said in a statement about the tower. Its design features a nine-pointed flower with a bulging base that will shield visitors and residents from the elements as they make their way into the building.
The new tower will feature many elements indicative of traditional Arabic architecture. The building’s exterior features a skin that imbues the structure with a feeling of fluidity, while also resembling a mashrabiya screen, the traditional carved-wood latticework seen throughout the region. “Fluidity is embedded within the region’s architectural heritage and traditions,” Hadid explained. “Continuous calligraphic and geometric patterns flow from domes to ceilings, ceilings to walls, walls to floors, establishing seamless relationships and blurring distinctions between architectural elements.” The Lusail building is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Image courtesy of Zara Hadid Architects