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Luxury Towers Boast Eco-Friendly Design

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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A new residential development from London-based Zaha Hadid Architects melds luxury living with an environmentally friendly design.

Alai, located in a strip of land between the sea and a lagoon near Cancun, Mexico, on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, employs a series of suspended footpaths to allow residents to enjoy the surrounding woodland preserve, coast and lagoon without disturbing the ecosystem.

Artist's renditions courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects

Alai, located in a strip of land between the sea and a lagoon near Cancun, Mexico, on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, employs a series of suspended footpaths to allow residents to enjoy the surrounding woodland preserve, coast and lagoon without disturbing the ecosystem.

“Alai’s design is defined by its rich natural environment and reinterprets local Mayan heritage in a contemporary adaptation,” said ZHA on its website. “It responds directly to the challenges of the Yucatan Peninsula’s increasing popularity with visitors from around the world while at the same time fostering the conservation of its original natural woodland and coastal wetland.”

Celebrating Nature

ZHA vows that the combined footprint of residential buildings on the site is limited to 7 percent of the development’s total area. That allows existing vegetation to thrive, and the majority of the site will retain its natural allure.

The property was supposed to house a development built by a previous owner, and preparatory work for that project damaged the area’s ecosystem. An onsite botanical nursery, which has been earmarked as a tourist attraction and education space, was established to help repair some of the environmental damage. Landscape architects Gross Max are assisting with replanting in some of the areas left bereft of flora and fauna.

Unique Design

Residential buildings will share an elevated platform with integrated perforations, which permit natural light to penetrate the ground and promote the growth of tropical vegetation through a platform that sits 9 meters above ground. The raised platform allows local wildlife to navigate the property in the woods below.

Sports, leisure and wellness facilities also will be housed along the platform.

The apartments at Alai, split among a series of towers, have spacious living areas and bedrooms, and private, curvilinear balconies provide unobstructed views of the landscape and the adjacent Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon.

The apartments, split among a series of towers, have spacious living areas and bedrooms, and private, curvilinear balconies provide unobstructed views of the landscape and the adjacent Caribbean Sea and Nichupte Lagoon. Each building features textures and surfaces replete with small geometric shapes, which are a hallmark of Mayan architecture.

"The differing texture and patterning of each building's facade within Alai is generated by assembling the balcony units and facade elements in varying sequences," said the architects. "This enables elements of relatively few different designs to create a unique facade for each building, yet maintains a cohesive design language throughout."

   

Tagged categories: Architecture; Design; Design build; Masonry coatings; Texture; Zaha Hadid

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