A design for a dream

Zaha Hadid designed a lot of high-profile buildings throughout her career but the Capital Hill Residence, the only private residential design that designed by the late architect. Located in the village of Barvikha, the futuristic house – which looks like a magical flower – is raised up on a skinny leg among the treetops to see what above it.

In 2006, Russian businessman 'Vladislav Doronin', commissioned her to design his private house on an isolated plot of land after he told her he wanted to wake up in the morning and see the blue sky from his land in Barvikha Forest, 'Hadid' replied: "You realize you have to be above the trees?". After receiving an affirmative answer, 'Zaha' immediately sketched what became Capital Hill Residence on a napkin. Upon first glance the home looks something like a spaceship that landed in the middle of a forest, surrounded by pine and birch trees.

The concrete and glass structure is classic, bold, unique, and sure to be divisive, it looks like some kind of futuristic spaceship has landed amongst the greenery. Its most eye-catching feature is the master bedroom suites that are raised on a skinny pillar above the high trees that surround the house.

The home divided into two components: one that is submerged by the sloping forested landscape, and one that raises above the ground. As you might have guessed, the master bedroom is located in the latter component, replete with glazed walls and two balconies affording views out over the treetops. Much of the rest of the huge 2,650 sqm (28,524 sq ft) home is carved into the hillside. The first floor includes the primary living room, dining area, kitchen, entertainment spaces, and an indoor swimming pool. The second floor hosts a library, guest room, and children's rooms.

The master suite is connected to the rest of the structure by a slender column, which houses a glass lift and staircase allowing for more staggering views on Doronin’s ascent and descent. The three floors embedded in the forested terrain below feature angled glass facades and broad roofs with atypically shaped edges overhanging the glass walls.

Hadid’s former business partner Patrik Schumacher, who took the reins of the company following her death in 2016, describes the project as “a dream house.”

This project is an absolute testament to Zaha’s genius – Vladislav’s genius if you like – of somebody who develops new levels of enjoying life on this planet, this is a masterpiece. It has Zaha’s signature features of organic intricacy, the complexity of spatial arrangement, a lot of surprises, and a lot of craftiness and beauty.”

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