Turns out luxury architecture can be both customizable and environmentally-friendly, according to Zaha Hadid Architects and their new Roatán Próspera Residences project.
A terraced community of living modules, the Próspera complex will be located on the Caribbean island of Roatán, off the coast of Honduras. Aimed at curating a population that can “prosper socially and ecologically,” the construction will feature up to 15,000 individual, personalized units using engineering techniques that harmonize with the local ecosystem.
“The design prioritizes sustainability and is integral to our vision for Roatán Próspera,” adds CEO of Honduras Próspera LLC Erick A. Brimen. “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.”
The Residences will be erected with timber from certified Honduran forests to keep the construction materials native to the region, while individual units will be configured off-site to reduce the carbon footprint on the island and protect its rich wildlife diversity.
Indigenous people from neighboring settlements will also be hired and trained to source, assemble, and maintain the residences, hopefully bolstering the local economy with more education and sanitation. And for every new Próspera residence, ZHA pledges to build a sister complex for a local community.
“Combining the most advanced modular construction techniques with sustainably-sourced local materials, the design and planning for the first dwellings in Próspera is a tangible example of the dramatic shift in development methodologies taking place around the world,” the ZHA website says. “Roatán Próspera rethinks the whole design and conventional delivery approach to development, starting from understanding the local supply chain, logistics, energy and economical aspects as a basis to engage technologically-curious, ecologically-minded, entrepreneurial building contractors.”
The Roatán Próspera Residences will be fashioned in a modular, expanding framework, with rounded balconies and terraces and curved palapa roofs (another design feature that honors the area’s traditional building techniques). Structural care is also being taken to ensure that the homes can withstand the Caribbean’s often unpredictable weather.
The development will include passive energy-saving strategies from environmental engineering firm Hilson Moran, including a dehumidifying system that pulls water from the air and filters it for use in the units and solar-paneled shading canopies. The roof panels will also incorporate several premade holes to provide natural ventilation and “internal thermal comfort enhancements.”
Each unit, or “voxel” as the individual dwellings are named, consists of 35 square meters (about 376 square feet) of space, but homebuyers will be allowed to buy up to five, allowing for 175 square meters (1883 square feet) of total living space.
Using a digital parametric software program in partnership with AKT II, residents can personalize most aspects of their space, including the arrangement and furnishings. Buyers can select from several pre-selected furniture sets and layouts – things like conversation pits and walk-in closets – or contract with local suppliers and craftspeople to create brand new custom pieces.
Additionally, each Próspera unit is fabricated in a way that makes it quick and easy to assemble and disassemble. This should provide residents both the freedom to reconfigure their homes and the ability to recycle parts of their lodgings as desired.
ZHA is currently working with one of the world’s top hotel operators on the project, with the intention of running the individual homes much like a boutique hotel. Tourists could come for a week or buy into the property for more long-term stays. The firm expects to break ground on Roatán Próspera later this year.