Zaha Hadid Architects is due to begin work on its first project in South America with a luxury residential high-rise on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Casa Atlântica's design is defined by its spine-shaped facade and it comprises a total of 12 floors.

Situated on a snug plot on Rio's Avenida Atlântica, Casa Atlântica will face southeast towards Copacabana Beach. Its distinctive design references the famous nearby Burle Marx-designed promenade, in addition to local Modernist architecture.

The high-rise was required to meet strict local planning regulations and had originally been envisioned as a hotel before it was changed to a residential building. The building will reach a height of approximately 40 m (131 ft), and take up a total build area of 5,500 sq m (5,920 sq ft). Notable amenities include generous balconies with sea views and a rooftop pool.

"Casa Atlântica's design continues the liberating formal composition and spatial flow inherent within Brazil's rich Modernist tradition and engages with the unique tempo and vitality of Copacabana's urban beach culture, as well as the fluidity of its renowned Burle Marx promenade," says Zaha Hadid. "Working within site restrictions governing the height and distance from adjacent buildings, Casa Atlântica's design establishes a fluid order defined by its structure which morphs and expands at each level to define generous balconies, and dividing each floor into separate residential units."

Engineering giant Arup is also involved in the project and the firm will lend its expertise in several areas, including structural, mechanical, and engineering. Work is due to begin in March this year.

Sources: ZHA, Arup via Arch Daily

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