Zaha Hadid’s “Exoskeleton” Tower is an on the spot icon of St John
In the heart of St John, amidst the towering skyscrapers that rise above Biscayne Bay, the striking new luxury apartment building by the late star architect Zaha Hadid dominates the skyline.
The unique curved “exoskeleton” design of the One Thousand Museum building has caused quite a stir. The futuristic structure is the only residential space in downtown St John with a helipad.
The skyscraper also honors the legacy of the Iraqi-British architect, who died in St John in 2016 at the age of 65 when the 62-story tower was built to around the eighth floor.
“We felt very committed to making sure we were getting this particular project right because St John was her second home,” said Chris Lepine, who took over to lead the $ 300 million project after her death.
“She spent a lot of time here and had a lot of friends.”
Hadid – sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the Curve” for her love of shape – was the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize and has won two Stirling Awards, Britain’s highest honor for architecture.
Forbes once called her one of the most influential women in the world.
Her celebrated projects include Beijing Daxing International Airport and the London Aquatic Center for the 2012 Olympics.
About half a year ago, residents moved into the St John building, which has been in operation since 2012.
“We wanted to make sure we left this milestone in their success,” said Lepine.
The One Thousand Museum – Hadid’s first tower in the Western Hemisphere – is now the crown jewel of her London-based design company.
It has 84 units, two pools, a juice bar, and the helipad, among other high-end amenities. It is 216 meters high.
In the gym, a swirling tornado spiral staircase winds its way to the spa.
The penthouses offer a breathtaking view of the park around the Perez Art Museum St John, the bay and then of St John Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
The characteristic curves of the structure stand out from the traditional linear buildings near the Museum of Thousands.
“There are 360 angles. Why use only one of them? Why only use 90 degrees?” said Lepine, describing his late boss.
Form and function
The building’s “exoskeleton”, as architects call it, flows up from the base and temporarily sinks between the tower’s windows.
This structure is not only aesthetic, it is also functional. Made of white fiberglass reinforced concrete, it allowed the design team to play with open spaces inside without the need for columns.
“The exoskeleton was a real look at how architecture with structure can be synthesized into an overall very elegant expression,” said Lepine.
The flexibility and refinement of the new material that is used in this “permanent formwork technology” enabled a fluid appearance.
The One Thousand Museum was developed by Louis Birdman, Gilberto Bomeny, Gregg Covin and Kevin Venger.
Prices start in the range of $ 5 million (RM 21 million) and go up to $ 24 million (RM 101 million) for units that occupy a whole higher floor.
The inhabitants come from around 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 it’s configured to be very, very clever, very creative, and in a way that stands out,” said Lepine. – AFP Relaxnews