Press Releases

Zaha Hadid with AKT II and Hilson Moran develop a digital architectural platform for a Caribbean residential project

July 28, 2020

Zaha Hadid Architects with AKT II and Hilson Moran partnership have developed a digital architectural platform to create homes for Roatán Próspera. The residential designs are a specific ecological and social response to the climate, terrain and culture of Roatán in the Caribbean, the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras.

The designs learn from the wisdom of the past, integrating the local vernacular tradition of timber construction, climatic appropriateness and spatial experience with new digital design, engineering and, construction techniques.

Working with AKT II, the design approach starts from a comprehensive understanding of the local supply chain, logistics and construction techniques to promote the use of local materials, craftsmanship and manufacturing facilities which support the economy of the region.

The design’s modular system is founded on the use of sustainable timber, sourced nearby from certified forests on the Honduran mainland and treated locally, to form the main structural elements. Digital information technologies will optimise the use of all parts of the sustainablyforested logs to minimize waste and pollution.

This process also contributes to reducing the embedded construction energy and carbon footprint of the development. Erick A. Brimen, CEO of Honduras Próspera LLC, explains: “The design prioritises sustainability and is integral to our vision for Roatán Próspera.

The island of Roatán is already a renowned tourist destination. Roatán Próspera will strengthen and diversify the local economy while creating homes defined by their natural environment.” With considerable reductions in waste material, and a higher quality of construction due to the greater precision achieved by off-site fabrication, this modular system of assembly is a costcontrolled solution specifically tailored to local supply chains, transportation and installation.

The dimensions of the structure’s base timber units have been established to follow the constraints of the local transportation networks to ensure carbon emissions and logistics costs are minimised. The use of lightweight timber results in a reduced and adaptive foundation system that can be fabricated off-site, keeping intervention to the site minimal and giving maximum protection to the site’s native flora and fauna.