The 11-storey building, with its irregularly aligned floors, sea views and large open roof and terrace spaces, will be completed within 18 months, according to Barcelona’s mayor, Jordi Hereu.
The Spiralling Tower will add to Barcelona’s ever-increasing stock of buildings by major architects, with a triangular pavilion by fellow Pritzker winners Jacques Herzog and Pierre De Meuron a close neighbour, and residential buildings and parks by Enric Miralles and Jean Nouvel.
The spiral-shaped tower looks like a dynamic stack of books, each representing one floor out of a total of 11 floors or 48 metres. The floors are offset, permitting a generous sprinkling of terraces, gardens and outdoor spaces.The campus will contain an auditorium, shopping malls, teaching facilities and a series of public spaces on the ground floor.
The building will be almost entirely covered with glass to provide sea views and capture daylight: “I designed the tower to provide the best possible view from every room in the building”, says Zaha Hadid.
Zaha Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Winner of many international competitions, theoretically influential and groundbreaking, a number of Hadid’s winning designs were initially never built: notably, The Peak Club in Hong Kong (1983) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). In 2002 Hadid won the international design competition to design Singapore’s one-north masterplan. In 2005, her design won the competition for the new city casino of Basel, Switzerland. In 2004 Hadid became the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Previously, she had been awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to architecture. She is a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 2006, Hadid was honored with a retrospective spanning her entire work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In that year she also received an Honorary Degree from the American University of Beirut.