Zaha Hadid Architects designs residential project for the Island of Roatán, Honduras in the Caribbean

Zaha Hadid Architects with AKT II and Hilson Moran Partnership have created a digital architectural platform to design homes for Roatian Próspera. Located on the island of Roatán in the Caribbean, the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras, the project is a specific ecological and social response to the local climate, terrain and culture.

The design integrates the local vernacular tradition of timber construction, climatic appropriateness and spatial experience with new digital design, engineering and construction techniques. Lying on a comprehensive approach of the context, and working with existing local materials, craftsmanship, and manufacturing facilities to support the local economy, the initiative aims to blend completely with the territory.

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.

Waste, pollution, carbon footprint and energy can be reduced to a minimum thanks to the use of digital information technologies. 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 cost-controlled solution specifically tailored to local supply chains, transportation and installation.

The design process aims to build lasting relationships between homeowners and the local community that will help new residents to integrate with the local culture.Through this digital configuration platform, residents can plan their homes, according to their spatial needs and connect with local suppliers. The platform ensures that each residence is developed specifically to the configuration defined by each future home-owner through the parametric design software developed by the Computational and Design Group at ZHA (ZHCODE) and the Computational Engineering Team at AKT II.

“A principle underpinning the configuration platform is three-dimensional property rights with homeowners acquiring occupational and exclusion rights for units of 3D space called volume-pixels or voxels. Their residences will be algorithmically computed to fit within their chosen arrangement of voxels. Each voxel is 35 square meters in plan-area and 4 meters high.Residential units vary from 35 sq.m studios (1 voxel) to 175 sq.m family homes (5 voxels)”. Owners can customize their layouts with this platform to fit their preferred number of voxels, with at least 15,000 different variations to configure the maximum of 5 voxels.

The configuration platform adapts each residence to the terrain and other particulars of the site include views and minimizing any earthworks during assembly.
The platform also gives a choice of built-in furniture modules and spatial arrangements to suit individual lifestyles and preferences. Residents can also appoint local suppliers to create furniture specific for each room using the digital assets that the configuration platform provides including the 3D model of the home.