Capital Hill Residence
The relationship between Zaha Hadid Architects and FIBROBETON started 3 years ago while we were looking for a manufacturer capable of realizing a GFRC façade solution for our Moscow villa project; a single, relatively small scheme compared to the scale of projects usually handled in both companies. Yet, it was the size and its predominant architectural characteristics that were breaking the ‘mould’ of architectural, commercial and technological conventions; making the procurement of the external façade, in particular, extremely difficult. A building designed to be a fluid, NURB-based shape with large areas of integrated glazing and aluminium nosing profiles, similar to the profile of airplane wings. Now, with the project’s shell and core stage completed, we are extremely satisfied with the results of this collaboration. Before meeting FIBROBETON we were confronted with inapplicable production methods and overtly complicated or missing means of covering the entire technological aspect that would have to be specifically developed. Only a holistic design, examining all technical and logistical aspects, could ensure the architectural design would be executed with the precision that we require. FIBROBETON immediately showed several advantages over their competitors - a serious amount of experience in GFRC facade construction; having created hundreds of large scale façades within Turkey, North Africa and Asia and a set-up that delivers full façade solutions. This includes in-house R&D, testing, system design for the cladding panels and their substructure - and most importantly the installation and project management to turnkey condition. Yet what mattered most was the capability to manufacture the individually formed panels for which the internal management and manufacturing processes at FIBROBETON could easily accommodate - or already had been inherent before the addition of CNC manufacturing for this project. The truly post-industrial challenge was embraced with great openness and readiness to experiment. FIBRBETON produced the 3,500 SQM of GFRC facade consisting of 1,100 individually moulded panels over a period of 10 months. The company since then has quadrupled its manufacturing plant and added a larger CNC moulding process to its capacity. The result of this enormous initiative now means that a truly ground-breaking formal tool can be offered to nearly any size of project. We are currently engaged with the company to realize another aspect of our project – the building’s double curved interiors envisaged to be built in glass fibre reinforced gypsum. We are intrigued by this development that opens up a possibility of further design implementation. Continuity and the melting of typological boundaries have always been part of our principle design investigations. In detail we now seem to reach a technological position which will allow us to formulate bespoke and totally individual spatial compositions that incorporate functionalities that would so far have been disjointed or restricted to their operation from the onset of their industrially designed and conventionally conceived implementation. In finalizing our design for the Russian villa project we have had great pleasure collaborating with FIBROBETON. As a company we hope to be able to extend our working relationship in future. As FIBROBETON has proven to be vital for this pilot project, I believe, the company will continue to do so in many others to come. Associate and Project Director for ‘Capital Hill Residence’